Southwest Louisiana Catholic Charities assistance programs.

Low income families may be able to receive help from the Southwest Louisiana Catholic Charity organization. The agency, working with local churches, will do its best to assist the poor, senior citizens, unemployed, and others faced with a crisis. While resources are very limited, some financial aid or basic needs can be met. Or Catholic Charities may refer individuals or provide information on other assistance programs that operate in Louisiana.

Clients can be referred to a number of local programs. Case managers and social workers can direct individuals to applications and provide other guidance. In some cases, emergency assistance may be offered, as funding allows, only as a last resort. This will usually include when someone from Louisiana is faced with a crisis and they have applied for other government and non-profit programs. Any type of financial assistance or material goods provided to clients will depend on a host of factors, all of which will need to be proven and documented.

Local pantries may provide vouchers for clothing, free food, and personal hygiene items. Thrift stores in the region, such as Assumption and St. Landry Parish, can sell gently used furniture and appliances, household articles, school supplies, and other goods. Financial assistance is even more rare. When available, and clients meet qualifications, it can be paid out for rent expenses, prescription medicines, transportation costs, and utility bills. As indicated, these resources are really only offered for residents of the area who meet strict qualifications. Catholic Charities or its local churches may offer limited material or financial assistance as funding allows.

Catholic Charities of Southwest Louisiana provides assistance to many regional parishes. They include the following. Acadia, Allen, Ascension, Assumption parish, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Calcasieu, Caldwell, Cameron, Catahoula, Claiborne, Concordia, De Soto, East Baton Rouge, East Carroll, E. Feliciana, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Iberia, Iberville, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lafourche, Lafayette parish, La Salle, Lincoln, Livingston, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Orleans, Ouachita, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, St. Bernard, St. Charles, Saint Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Tensas, Terrebonne, Union, Vermilion, Vernon, Washington, Webster, West Baton Rouge, W. Carroll, West Feliciana, and Winn Parish. Dial 337-439-7400 for information.




When facing a disaster, whether man made or natural, Catholic Charities partners with many non-profit and government organizations across Louisiana to both create plans and train volunteers. The charity will also try to provide for some of those basis needs, such as shelter, housing, or a hot meal to those that are impacted. The organization will also partner with other groups such as your local church or the Salvation Army, which has many locations in parishes such as Lafayette and Madison.

A number of clothing closets and food pantries are located in the region. Almost every parish has some type of pantry. They can be located at churches or some other local non-profit organization. The local pantries are usually open limited hours and have some type of application process. At these facilities residents may receive vegetables, food, canned goods, baby formula, and more. Special food assistance programs may be offered for senior citizens and children in Louisiana, such as as home delivered meals from volunteers. The clothing closets may have school or work attire for children and job seekers.

Catholic Charities of southwest Louisiana also provides self-sufficiency and will empower families to overcome barriers. The goal to rising above low income or poverty status is a decent paying job. So work with a social worker on economic, personal, employment and community growth. The charity will try to get individuals to advocate for themselves.

Part of the service provided is on connecting the working poor and low income families to the government and non-profit agencies and resources they need to succeed. This can help them find a good job, gain a new skill, or raise healthy successful children. The organization works with many partners in Louisiana, including Terrebonne and Evangeline parish to improve economic stability and success.

Learn about federal and state of Louisiana government financial assistance for paying for basic needs such as food, utilities, rent, and housing. They also have information on non-profits. Receive guidance from a Catholic Charity social worker in how to apply for these programs, and get information on all available resources in the local community.

Refugees and immigrants may benefit from assistance programs and guidance focused on their needs. Catholic Charities is one of the nation's leading groups that offers referrals, information and follow up services for newcomers to the country, including asylees, Cuban entrants, refugees, and many others. As with many of their programs, the charity will emphasize self sufficiency, employment, and education. Meet with a case manager or even partner legal professionals for case management services including screening, assessment, consultations and information. Some of the immigrant programs will come with fees, especially those with a legal component.




Additional programs are focused on the senior and aging population in Louisiana. Some of these resources are dedicated to satisfying the growing needs of senior citizens, the homebound, and elderly populations across the region. Help for seniors can come in the form of free hot meals, transportation, social activities, information on health care and more.

Some other social services offered by referrals include budgeting, financial literacy classes, credit repair, advocacy for the poor, school supplies and more. Social workers are available for bi-lingual/Spanish-speaking clients as needed.


By Jon McNamara

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