Calcasieu Parish assistance programs.

Find how to apply, and where to get, financial help in Calcasieu Parish as well as Lake Charles. Struggling families can receive help with their rent or a security deposit from a charity in Lake Charles, free food or clothes from a church, grants from the government for paying bills or energy costs and more. Also discover job training programs, free medical or dental care, case management, and even prescription medications for the under-insured.

Assistance with bills, expenses, and resources that provide aid

The Lake Charles Salvation Army offers several different programs and resources for low income and struggling individuals. Gain access to character-building programs, which are available for youth grades 1-12. They also run and provide structured activities for the older generation and senior citizens. In addition, gain access to emergency assistance for paying for expenses, including food, rent, clothing, and utility bills for families in a crisis situation. In addition, receive access, if need be, to emergency shelter and two meals for individuals in need of temporary shelter. They also offer holiday and a Christmas Assistance Program which offers food and toys for the needy in the area. (337) 721-8068. Click here.

Another non-profit agency to turn to for help is the Calcasieu Parish Community Services, which can be contacted at (337) 721-4020. Some of the programs they offer to qualified residents include the following.




  • Health and medical care services - Local medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, dentists, and other professionals volunteer their time every week to provide needy individuals with medical services.
    • Vision and eye care - Receive access to a Vision Exam, Screening, Glasses, and free Eyewear Voucher assistance
    • Prescription medicines and drugs - Vouchers and other forms of prescription assistance are available depending on current funding and client eligibility for the program.
    • Health and general referrals - Referrals for the medical services and programs may be available for general health check ups, including health care education and free dental services.





  • Energy and utility bill assistance - Receive aid from the government funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The program focuses its assistance on low income individuals, the elderly, and the disabled. The bottom line is that people who pay a high percentage of their income towards their monthly utility bills may be able to receive help from LIHEAP.
  • State energy programs - In addition to the federal government funded LIHEAP mentioned above, the state of Louisiana also offers its own utility bill assistance programs. Receive financial assistance and cash grants towards paying a household's energy bill. In addition, you can also receive emergency energy bill assistance if a household's home energy service is shut off or if the consumers service is about to be shut off. In addition, qualified individuals may be able to receive access to a wide range of other energy-related services from the state of Louisiana. For example, receive energy conserving updates from the weatherization improvement program, utility and cooling equipment repair and replacement, and other aid.
  • Free food and food assistance programs - This is another resource offered by the Calcasieu Parish Community Services. There are qualifications to the program, but if you meet the criteria, this food program will provide a 40 pound food box having an approximate value of $50.00 to income eligible recipients and households.
  • Housing programs - They are wide ranging. Homeowners can look into free foreclosure counseling and information on mortgage help. On the other hand, tenants may be able to receive information on rental assistance programs, long term loans, landlord / tenant mediation sessions, or funds to pay a security deposit on a new more affordable home. Calcasieu Community Services tries to prevent homelessness in the parish.

A number of other resources are available from the community action type agency. If they can’t meet your needs, they social workers may also have referrals. The center is a leading non-profit organization for low income families, seniors, and the disabled. Click more Calcasieu Parish Community Services

Manna Ministries - The site is open very limited hours. It may provide financial help for paying utility bills and maybe for other basic needs. There are limits as to how often aid is paid out. Other support may be as follows.

  • Free food from a pantry.
  • Basic needs such as clothing for work or school.
  • Counseling, advice, and case management.

Referrals may be given to many income qualified families. The address is 1500 Country Club Rd, Lake Charles, Louisiana 70605. Telephone number - (337) 802-3729, or click Manna Ministries assistance programs.




Catholic Charities of Southwest Louisiana offers social services and emergency aid to those who need help. This includes the following. Air conditioners for the disabled and senior citizens. Get help with filing income taxes from the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance/VITA center. Some referrals or limited financial aid may be offered. More on financial assistance Southwest Louisiana Catholic Charities.

A food pantry and free meals may be passed out too by Catholic Charities in Calcasieu Parish. Additional Thanksgiving and Christmas gifts and food baskets may be offered. Other programs include Disaster Relief Services, Identification cards, and much more is offered. Call (337) 439-7436, or find more Louisiana food pantries.

Cameron Community Action Agency, Inc. really focuses on self-sufficiency. Programs include emergency Skills Training, Emergency Utility and Medicine Assistance, Head start, After School Pregnancy Prevention Program, LIHEAP Utility Assistance, FEMA Assistance, Government Commodities, Information and Referral and  Child and Adult Care Food Program. Telephone number is (337) 598-5158.

Volunteers of America Lake Charles is the local branch of one of the nation’s main housing assistance organizations. They oversee shelters, low income apartments and Supportive Housing, subsidized units, and provide assistance to veterans. For families facing eviction, the Calcasieu Parish organization may have referrals or suggestions on emergency financial aid. Several solutions are administered. More details.

Anyone looking for a meal or a box of groceries can try a food pantry. There are dozens across the parish, and many are run by charities or churches. Those who are found qualified can receive emergency assistance or referrals. Find more information on food banks, holiday meals, personal hygiene items and more. Read Calcasieu Parish food pantries.

Low income free medical and dental care

Thousands of people in Lake Charles and Calcasieu County do not have health insurance. They do have options. The Calcasieu Community Clinic, which can be reached at (337) 478-8650, provides low income and uninsured patients with free dental and medical care. The various medical assistance programs are offered to low-income working individuals and families in the five parish area of Southwest Louisiana.

Get access to an attorney

If you are dealing with a civil legal issue, the Southwest Louisiana Legal Services Society provides those in need with legal help. The legal advice is either offered at no cost, or there may be a minimal fee and it depends on the individuals total household income levels. (337) 436-3308

Senior and elderly programs

Calcasieu Council on Aging offers programs from people who are 55 and older. Some of the services include prescription and energy bill assistance programs for senior citizens, gain access to home-delivered meals, which are provided to elderly residents of Calcasieu Parish; and also some Homemaker Services are offered. Last, but not least, nutritional and ombudsman services, as well as job finding assistance and employment opportunities for those 55 and older. (337) 474-2583





St. Charles Center on Aging provides support to people age 60 and over. Examples include Congregate and Home Delivered Meals. Other programs include Medicaid Enrollment Center, Free Legal Assistance, Utility Bill Assistance, Wellness screening, and Medication Management and Assistance. Address is 965 Highway 384, Lake Charles, Louisiana 70607. Call (337) 905-6000

By Jon McNamara

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