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Ouachita Parish assistance programs.

Struggling families can find (1) where to get help below and (2) how to apply. Find financial assistance that can help with rent or utility/electric bills. Also locate free food as well as dental care or healthcare and other assistance in Ouachita Parish. Churches as well as other agencies (like charities and the government) give financial aid along with debt or foreclosure counseling, job placement, and other social services.

Salvation Army - Center of Hope

The agency offers a Family Assistance Program, though resources are available. There may be help for rent and utility bills for a crisis. Other support includes a Soup Kitchen and Free Food Pantry, Shelter Services as well as Emergency Lodging, and other Housing programs. Seasonal services in Monroe may include Free Food, Angel Tree Holiday Programs for free Christmas toys, school supplies, and more. Dial (318)325-1755, or read Ouachita Parish Salvation Army assistance.

Free food assistance

Call any of the following for food and access to a pantry. Bethel Church of God in Christ ((318)322-7446, Calvary Missionary Baptist Church ((318)323-0238) or the Booker T. Community Outreach, Inc. Phone (318)325-6777.

There are many other food pantries and resources in the parish as well as city of Monroe. Most of them are run by charities or churches, and offer both support to struggling families. The assistance may include the following.

  • Clothing, furniture from a thrift store, diapers, and hygiene items.
  • Free food from a pantry, baby formula, and groceries.
  • Applications to benefits such as SNAP food stamps and other government grant programs.
  • Find the locations of Ouachita Parish food pantries.




Christian Community Ministries

This non-profit, which is based in Monroe and Ouachita Parish Louisiana, offers numerous forms of financial assistance to low income and those in need. The assistance programs they offer include prescription and medications, clothing (which is given upon request) and free food and groceries. The charity will also help with employment needs as well, such as work attire or local transportation. Call (318)325-8467, or click more Christian Community Ministries.

LaSalle Community Action Association, Inc.

This non-profit organization administers federal government and state of Louisiana funded assistance programs to help  low income people become more self-sufficient through utility and cooling bill assistance, nutritional assistance, rent, mortgage, and housing assistance, job placement  and preschool programs.

A number of other programs are available from the agency. LaSalle may be able to offer qualified low income clients some or all of the following.

  • Housing resources - While the demand is high, there are section 8 vouchers and also Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) grants offered in Ouachita County.
  • Job training and education services, which include WIA job training and Head Start for children.
  • Emergency food and shelter - This is available in some years. It can provide funds to pay rent, utility bills, or food. The homeless may receive security deposit assistance or information on motel vouchers. Other support is available too.
  • Referrals to government benefits - Learn about SSDI disability, SNAP, and other options.

The agency assists in whatever way they can, as resources allow. Phone (318)744-5445, or find more details on assistance from LaSalle Community Action Association.





Ouachita Multi-Purpose Community Action Program(OMCAP)

This is the local non-profit agency. They offer the following programs.

  • Community Services - Includes referral and information on services that agencies, charities, and non-profits offer. Include info on health care programs such as blood pressure checks, glaucoma screening, self-defense classes, exercise  classes, organizing neighborhood watch, elderly activities, family  planning counseling, distress counseling and referrals, volunteer income tax and preparation assistance. 
  • Utility Bill Assistance- Access gas or electric bill assistance for low to moderate income individuals, elderly or handicapped people. Recipients must be residents of Monroe and/or Ouachita Parish Louisiana, they need to bring 3 previous months energy bills & certification of household  income before completing an application for the utility help.
  • Emergency Bill Assistance- This program provides help for the payment of rent; mortgage payments for  clients who need this assistance, and additional aid for those individuals who do not qualify for medical card or government assistance.
  • Prescription Payment Assistance - This aid is offered for low income persons patients and others by appointment only.
  • Housing, Foreclosure and Mortgage Counseling- Provides income counseling to HUD owners/renters. Foreclosure prevention also offered. A housing counselor will aid the recipient in communication with mortgage-holders and/or renters. Appointment is necessary to receive housing or foreclosure counseling, and a personal interview is also mandatory. Seminars with speakers from area banks/mortgage companies. Call them to learn more about Louisiana mortgage programs.
  • Medicaid and Government Program Enrollment- Assists individuals in applying for government insurance such as Medicaid. 
  • Community Food & Nutrition Program- The community action agency runs a food pantry for emergency food and grocery needs for clients who are in process of qualifying for Food Stamps or government aid and who also need help for those who do not qualify for Food Stamps.
  • Income Tax Preparation - Receive free income tax returns. Find how to file income taxes for free.
  • First Time Home Buyers Program - educational classes to help  low-income purchase a home; will match funds up to a certain amount. 
  • Individual Development Account(IDA) - Receive budgeting and debt help.

Call the Ouachita Multi-Purpose Community Action Program at (318) 322-7151.





Additional free stuff and financial help in the parish

Many families struggling from time to time with housing. There are emergency rent and housing assistance programs along with long term support, such as section 8, in the parish and city of Monroe. Tenants, the homeless, working poor, and others may apply for grants or loans. Read more on rental assistance in Ouachita Parish.

The agencies listed above are just a sampling of what is available to low or moderate income families. One focus is on helping single mothers in the parish, as many struggling to pay the rent, get food, and provide other support for their kids. So many local and national charities work together to provide support, and find a list of rental assistance programs for single mothers.

Senior citizens often struggle in Louisiana. The cost of medications, housing, food, medical equipment, and other bills can cause stress and/or financial hardship. There are resources offered, many from the Agency on Aging centers. There are many other options too, including senior citizen assistance programs in Louisiana.


By Jon McNamara














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