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Vermillion, Jefferson Davis, and Acadia Parish assistance programs.

Find financial help in the Acadia Parish area as well as cities of Abbeville and others. Struggling families, whether they are low income or not, can receive everything from free grants to loans for paying their bills, rent, housing, and other living expenses. There are churches that offer free food or clothes, money as well as free back to school supplies from charities, and also government cash assistance programs to name but a few options.

Many families in Jefferson Davis, Acadia and Vermillion lack medical care. There are many dental clinics near you as well as free insulin, prescription drugs, and free healthcare from clinics. Adults, children, and the elderly can apply. Or single moms can get help, there are free Christmas toys or meals, and other emergency help.

Emergency financial help for bills

The community action agency to call for help is ASSIST Agency, Inc. They are based in Crowley, Louisiana and can be reached at (337) 788-7550. However they offer services across the entire region.

  • Food for Families - Distributes free food baskets and groceries to those in need. They are always looking for donations from food drives. Food vouchers are offered as well to low-income families to help them remain healthy.
  • Outreach and Referral – The community action agency can provide information on availability of services offered by the state of Louisiana, federal government, and other non-profit agencies in the parishes of Acadia, Jefferson Davis, and Vermillion. Learn about free Legal Aid and Community Services, Welfare, SNAP (Food Stamps), Social Security, and more. Get referrals and help in applying for public aid.
  • Emergency Voucher Assistance - These programs are offered by LDOL, FEMA or the United Way. It can provide emergency financial assistance on a one-time basis to clients who have suffered a loss due to some type of circumstances that was not caused by them and is beyond their control.
  • Apply for Medicaid / Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program at the ASSIST Agency. The federal government program provides primary and preventative health care to low income families. It also offers long-term care to disabled and low-income seniors. The LaCHIP program can also help with medical bills by offering health and dental care coverage at no cost for uninsured children younger than nineteen years of age.




  • Pharmaceutical Access Program can help low income, disadvantaged individuals, and uninsured pay for the cost of prescription drugs. The Lafayette Community Pharmacy Clinic and ASSIST partner together to offer this service. The indigent, elderly, disabled and working poor are primary beneficiaries.
  • The Patient Assistance Program (PAP) can also provide medications in Jefferson Davis Parish and nearby towns. Local pharmacists, physicians, and other health care providers refer patients to the PAP program, which can help them obtain free or low-cost medication from the major pharmaceutical companies. Read more patient assistance programs.
  • Toys for Tots can provide gifts and toys for free to children of families on public assistance. The holiday program is run with the U S Marine Corps, and it is especially important to single moms and parents who might otherwise have to see their children do without toys or gifts for Christmas.
  • First-time homebuyers can get financial assistance for making a down payment. ASSIST is a Comprehensive Housing Development Organization, and they also offer housing counseling and mortgage assistance programs. All resources are part of the Affordable Housing Program. Learn more on HUD foreclosure counseling in Louisiana.
  • Shelter Home is available for women and children. In addition to shelter and short term housing, it offers food, meals, clothing bank, job services, personal hygiene, GED classes, life skills education, day care, and medical bill assistance.
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance offers free federal and state tax preparation for low income individuals in Vermillion and neighboring areas.
  • ASSIST Agency, Inc is also a HUD-Approved Housing Counseling. Renters and homeowners can get information and free advice on foreclosure prevention, help seeking and buying a home, low interest financing, and advice on maintaining or renting a home. Those seeking a place can learn about local security deposit assistance programs, if any exist.
  • Childcare is offered at affordable rates from Childcare Centers in Crowley, Abbeville, Church Point, and Rayne.
  • Financial Assistance is offered to low income and working poor families. Assistance can help them reduce the burden of medications, home energy costs, groceries and food. Apply for emergency voucher assistance for shelter, home repairs and modifications/improvements.





ASSIST Agency, Inc. has multiple offices in the region. Call (337) 788-7550. Several other assistance programs and resources are offered for low income residents. Read more on ASSIST Agency.

Council on Aging, Inc. has several offices around the region. The focus is on senior citizens, the elderly, as well as disabled. They are located at the addresses below.

  • Energy bill assistance, including LIHEAP, can help pay the utilities, including cooling bills, of low income seniors over 60. Additional details on Louisiana utility bill assistance.
  • Food assistance includes home delivered meals for homebound age 60 or older. Meal sites also serve lunch for the elderly and seniors. Food distribution is offered at most once a month of items such as canned goods, juices, etc.
  • Homemaker services include activities such as light meal preparation, housekeeping, errands, and more. A small donation is required.
  • Transportation assistance and rides can be made to doctors, shopping trips, medical appointments and other services.

Aging offices are at 824 E. First St., Crowley, Louisiana 70526, (337) 788-1400, Jefferson Davis, Jennings, LA 70546, telephone (337) 824-5504, and 1928 Graceland, Abbeville, Louisiana 70510, call (337) 893-2563.

Crowley Christian Care Center – Provides the needy with food, financial help with prescriptions, gently used clothing, assistance with paying rent and utilities. Also get information and referral to other non-profit agencies and government programs that may offer more services. They rely on the money raised from their thrift store as well as volunteers from Acadia Parish. Call (337) 783-5811, or more on Crowley Christian Care Center assistance programs.

Jefferson Davis area Salvation Army - Residents of this parish can apply for help from the church based group. The programs include emergency food or groceries, money for rent or utility/water bills, after school care, shelter, and counseling from a ministry service.

There are also seasonal services in the region. The Salvation Army has items like a free back to school supply giveaway as well as Thanksgiving turkeys, Christmas meal or toys, and cool weather shelters. Other support may also be given by the charity, including linking families to other resources. Read Jefferson Davis Parish Salvation Army.

Volunteers of America in Louisiana helps with shelter, housing, and rental matters. The homeless from the region can get access to emergency shelter. Clients then may be able to progress to case management, job seeking assistance, then transitional housing. Staff also provide referrals and other support to the low income, disabled and seniors in parishes such as Acadia. Click details on Volunteers of America in Baton Rogue.

SMILE is an agency that can provide referrals and intake for residents in Jefferson Davis and/or Acadia parish. Some of what may be available in the region includes free food pantries, meals on wheels for senior citizens, and low interest loan programs for various financial needs. Another key focus in on child development from Head Start and job training resources. Learn more on SMILE community action agency.

Christian Care and Share Center also supports all parishes. Funding is limited, and when available, it can address a number of needs. The non-profit may have help and grants with rent, housing and utility bills, food to the needy, household goods and furniture, clothes, and emergency transportation.

  • 129 W. Main Street, Ville Platte, LA 70586, telephone (337) 363-8041
  • 701 Chevis St., Abbeville, Louisiana 70510, dial (337) 893-9756

St. Edmond St. Vincent de Paul Society can be reached at (337) 981-0874. Offers emergency assistance for the following areas. Utilities, cooling bills, and prescriptions medications. People can apply at most every 6 months.

Free food pantries and distribution centers

Kaplan Food Bank at 801 North Cushing Ave., Kaplan, Louisiana 70548, call (337) 643-6055. This location provides baby formula, milk vouchers, food and groceries to families in need in Vermilion parish. Seniors program can give Ensure to the elderly when available. Proof of need is required when applying; including income and you must show food stamp approval when applying.

Other locations to call or stop by at for food and nutritional assistance include:

  • Christian Service Center of Iota operates a pantry. (337) 779-3057
  • Christian Service Center of Rayne Louisiana. Main phone number is (337) 334-5031
  • Ms Helen' Soup Kitchen, 224 W. 5th St., Crowley, LA  70527, main number (337) 783-7374

Feeding America has partners in the region too. This is a national network with local churches, food pantries in Abbeville and Jefferson Davis Parish, and other towns. They partner to provide free meals (including at holidays), surplus government commodities, USDA lunch or breakfast, groceries and more. Continue with Feeding America near you.





Affordable or free health care from clinics

Abbeville Community Health Clinic – Some services may be offered on a sliding fee scale or lower rates. The location is a full service medical and dental clinic. Examples of some of the clinic services include internal medicine, family medicine, Kid-Med services, physicals, primary health care screening, lab, general dentistry (some oral surgery), pharmacy assistance (no in-house program), referrals, immunizations, disease screening, and mental health/psychiatric services. Dental care and cleanings are offered too. (337) 893-3443

Gardiner Community Health Center - For patients with limited or no health insurance, medical services are provided at discounted rates based on a sliding scale. People of all ages and races can use this center. They may also be able to offer prescription medication either at no charge or a discounted rate through the drug and pharmaceutical companies. Gueydan Louisiana. (337) 536-9262

Parish Health Units offer KidMed, WIC vouchers, pregnancy testing, immunizations, nutrition, child health care, and more.

  • 30 W. Mill St., Crowley, LA 70526, call (337) 788-7507 for intake
  • Vermilion Parish Health Unit, 401 S. St. Charles St., Abbeville, Louisiana 70510, telephone (337) 893-1443

By Jon McNamara

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