Christian Service emergency programs.
Christian Service Programs offers resources to working poor families across Caddo Parish. Information on their services is available at their main office, and staff can either directly offer assistance or refer applicants to other local non-profits. In total, there are dozens of emergency and long term programs across the greater Caddo Parish and Shreveport Louisiana area.
The aid provided directly by Christian Service is mostly for basic needs, and that can include food, clothing, and housing. The staff is very knowledgeable though as to what families can apply for, such as grants from LIHEAP for utility bills or food stamps. So there are numerous options available.
Food assistance and pantries
Summer Food program is for students when they are on vacation or during the summer months. This can help ensure they get the nutrition they need since they can't get any free school lunches during that time frame. The USDA funded program is for children 18 years or younger that live in the Parish. The meals will be healthy breakfasts as well as lunches during the week. Some centers in Shreveport will also have snacks.
Referrals are given to entitlement programs. The main ones in the state are SNAP food stamps and surplus USDA commodities. In most cases the client is given a voucher or an EBT card that they can use to buy groceries in the store. So it does give them flexibility as to purchasing just what they need.
Meals on Wheels is for the homebound in Caddo Parish. This may be for a senior citizen that can no longer drive to the store, or maybe someone with a disability. Volunteers bring the homebound person a free hot meal each day.
Christian Service emergency food pantries as well as soup kitchens use donations and volunteers to help the needy. The pantries will give a box of groceries, while soup kitchens serve meals. The clients range from homeless to those facing a short term crisis.
Christian Service financial help
Tenants behind on their rent or utility bills can seek Eviction Prevention services or homeowners can explore foreclosure counseling. Resources are dedicated to helping individuals and families from Shreveport who think they may be losing their apartments or homes.
As part of this process, clients learn about their legal rights as well as obligations in the eviction process. If the issue is a late mortgage payment, then homeowners learn how to rework their home loan. There may be some financial aid available for making a portion of a rent payment. Or in some cases, funds may also be available for utility bills, including from the state of Louisiana and LIHEAP.
Christian Service sponsored workshops are available to help people manage their money. This will help reduce the chances of any future homeless event. Other components of this service include Housing Mediation, which is when a third party negotiates an agreement that is fair to both the tenant and landlord or homeowner and lender. Or clients can get help in applying for government grants, that are a form of cash payments back rent and mortgage payments.
Christian Service helps very low income and homeless men, women, domestic violence survivors and children find safe housing. It will start with shelter. That is the first step, while case managers help them move toward long term independence.
There are housing options in the Caddo region that focus on people from different backgrounds, including veterans, families, single moms or adults and seniors. This can include both transitional and supportive housing. The centers are offered on a temporary or permanent basis. All applicants must be very low income to qualify.
Participants of these short term housing solutions have access to Christian Service full range of services and programs. They will partner with a caseworker who will create a plan for them. They will be able to receive help will help with job training and placement. Other workshops available include life skills and budgeting, counseling for mental health issues, and safety planning for survivors of domestic abuse.
Programs are also focused on senior citizens in Shreveport. They can apply for the housing solutions above. Another key resources is the Meals on Wheels service. Also, workshops are held on needs specific to them, such as paying for escalating costs of medical care, locating discounted prescription medications, and much more.
Basic needs are only for families and individuals in a time of crisis. The Christian Service resource centers help people with basic needs such as clothing, personal hygiene items, transportation for work, and referrals. There are sites around Caddo Parish that have free computer labs with internet access. They allow clients to improve their IT skills, or to search for jobs. Staff that work at the agency also direct people to other assistance programs that help strengthen individuals and families.
Benefits in Caddo Parish
Christian Service case mangers can help people apply for public aid and benefits. There are a few different options in the state, as noted below.
Home weatherization is the nation's primary energy conservation program. It will help people that own their home reduce their electric bills and lower heating costs. This is met by weatherizing their property. Staff can can help low- to middle-income homeowners apply. If they are successful, then contractors will come to seal up leaks, tune up furnaces, add insulation and more, all with the goal to reducing energy usage.
SSVF - Supportive Services for Veteran Families is a homeless prevention program for struggling veterans and their families. They will be assisted with finding and paying for new, more affordable housing. Clients throughout the Caddo Parish region are welcome to apply for financial help for rent or deposits and enroll into self-sufficiency.
Christian Service can help very low income families apply for cash assistance, such as TANF or disability. Any type of support is combined with job training, career counseling and job placement services. Not only can they receive federal aid from these programs for their living expenses, but a skills assessment is performed. The result will guide them through the development of a personal training plan.
For more information, stop by 1244 Sprague Street, Shreveport, LA 71101. Or call the service at (318) 221-4857.