Next Thursday, April 19th Panda Express on Ambassador by Costco will be giving back 20% of all sales between noon and 4pm to us! All you have to do to is present a copy of the attached flyer when you order (electronic or paper!). You can even order online and use the promo code listed. So take the night off from cooking at get lunch and dinner from Panda Express next Thursday and tell them we sent you! Thanks :)
Did you know we provided Street Outreach Services? Street Outreach Services is a street-based outreach program offering essential supplies, crisis intervention, and referrals for individuals or families living outdoors. We meet clients where they are, quite literally, to offer hope and services. If you'd like to help, we are collecting:
Small bottles of sunscreen
Gatorade drink mixes (single use that you put in water bottles)
If you think you see someone you think may be interested in our services, or if you spot an encampment in town, please call or text our Outreach Hotline at (337) 541-3781
Local agencies provide a range of services, including food, housing, health, and safety. Call 232-HELP or 211 to locate an organization near you.
- Find affordable rental housing near you. Lafayette Housing Authority
- Contact a housing counseling agency in your area by calling 800-569-4287.
- Find HIV/AIDS housing and services near you. Acadiana CARES
- Find assistance to avoid foreclosure near you or call the Making Home Affordable hotline 888-995-4673.
- Get assistance with home improvements. Rebuilding Together Acadiana
- File a housing discrimination complaint.
- Find tenant rights assistance.
- Find your local Food Bank.: Foodnet
- Apply for WIC (Women, Infant, and Children) Benefits.
- Apply for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Benefits.
Health and Safety
- Locate a Health Center near you, including Health Care for the Homeless Programs. St. Bernadette's Clinic
- Locate Behavioral Health Treatment Services near you, including substance abuse, mental health, and veteran services. Acadiana Area Human Services District
- Treatment Referral Routing Service: 1-800-662-4357 for confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental health and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.
- National Runaway Safeline: 1-800-786-2929 provides support to at-risk youth and their families 24 hours a day through phone, email, and live chat.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 is available 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship.
- Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-422-4453 is available 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone experiencing child abuse, seeking resources or information, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources.
- Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 provides crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 is available 24/7 to confidentially provide counseling services at a crisis center in your area.
- National Human Trafficking Resource Center: 1-888-373-7888 is available 24/7 to confidentially provide help to victims of human trafficking.
Employment and Job Training
- DOL’s Employment and Training Helpline: 1-877-872-5627 provides information for job seekers, workers, and employers on employment and training.
- Workforce Development Board Locator provides local job centers where job seekers can get employment and unemployment information, find out about career development training opportunities and connect to various programs in their area. Louisiana Workforce Commission
- DOL’s Employment Training page provides a short-term training finder, an education and training finder, a Certification Finder, links to Apprenticeship programs, financial aid, and much more.
- Job Corps Helpline: 1-800-733-5627 provides information about this education and training program that helps young people learn a career, earn a high school diploma or GED, and find and keep a good job.
- Help for Homeless Veterans Helpline: 1-877-424-3838 provides 24/7 access to VA’s services for homeless and at-risk Veterans.
- Veterans.gov provides employment opportunities for veterans including job postings, local career centers, and online self-assessments.
- Locate a VA Medical Center for medical care.
Learn more about other services and benefits available to homeless veterans by visiting the Resources for Homeless Veterans and HUDVet page, the Veterans Administration page for homeless veterans, and National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.
When you shop on Amazon Smile, Amazon will make a contribution to The Outreach Center on your behalf at no cost to you, supporting our work to end homelessness and housing poverty in Acadiana. Just begin typing “Acadiana Outreach Center” as your preferred charity and select it when it appears. With every Amazon Smile purchase, Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to us! Click here to support our work while shopping. Thank you for your support!
Great article by the National Low Income Housing Coalition:
A report by Chris Salviati of Apartment List, Rental Insecurity: The Threat of Evictions to America’s Renters, indicates that more than one out of four low income renters with annual incomes below $30,000 were unable to pay their full rent in at least one of the past three months. The report estimates that 3.7 million American renters have experienced eviction....More
HUD released the Family Options Study earlier this year and it looks at research on how homelessness impacts the lives of children. Some highlights from the study include:
• Twenty months after staying in a shelter with their families, children scored worse in pre-reading skills and had higher rates of overall behavior problems and early development delays compared to national norms for children their age. However, they displayed only small disadvantages in pre-math skills, and for some types of behavioral challenges their rates were similar to national norms.
• Unstable housing arrangements remained common during the 20 months following a stay in emergency shelter, with 41 percent of families reporting that, during the past six months, they had been in a shelter or a place not suitable for human habitation, had doubled up in someone else’s housing unit, or had moved at least once.
• Children who had more stable recent housing situations and more stable child care arrangements displayed fewer behavior problems 20 months after a shelter stay than those who did not.
• Enrollment in early education and center-based care was lower for families who had experienced housing instability in the past six months compared to those who had been stably re-housed. However, housing instability did not appear to be associated with lower enrollment in Head Start programs.
• Children ages three and four who were enrolled in Head Start or other early education and center-based care displayed stronger pre-math and pre-reading skills than those who were only in parental care.
Pretty sad. Read the whole study here.
I noticed we haven't posted a progress update since June...shame on us! Today I'm pleased to report that since June 1 we have housed 106 individuals and children that were either living outside or in an emergency shelter!
I've written before about the detrimental effects of homelessness especially with children so we couldn't be prouder that we have helped 59 children escape homelessness and move into their own safe home (and 47 adults). That's why we do what we do! Thank you for your support.
Our biggest and most critical fundraiser is only a month away! This event makes up a significant portion of our annual budget and is very important to our organization....not to mentionit's really fun so you don't want to miss out!
Palates and Pate' features an amazing live art auction, the area's best food, exciting entertainment and it all benefits the less fortunate clients we serve. Please consider doing what you can to help - donate an item for our silent auction, buy a ticket or table, and be sure to tell your friends. Together we can continue our work of ending homelessness in our community. Thank you for your support. More info can be found here: http://www.outreachcenterlafayette.org/landing-1/
Currently we are in need of:
- Tupperware style plastic food storage containers - All sizes
- Dollar store brooms, dust pans, and cleaning supplies for residents that move out of the shelter
- Donations of dishes, mardi gras cups, silverware, and kitchen gadgets
- Can openers
Thank you for thinking of us next time you are shopping!
Wanted to write a quick update on our new Rapid Re-housing initiative and how it's been going so far. I'm pleased to report that in the short time we've been doing this (21 days!) we have moved....drum roll please....7 adults and 11 children out of cars, emergency shelters, and the woods to their own apartments!!!! Signing leases and having people hug you because they finally have a stable place to lay their head is so unbelievably fun and very rewarding.
A big part of this project is continuing to provide case management and supports to these families in their homes so we have 2 staff members dedicated to making home visits to continue working with these clients to help them increase their income, make sure kiddos have what they need, and connect them with additional community resources.
A need: Since most of these families are starting out with nothing we are seeingincreased need for household items: dishes, plates, silverware, pots, pans, towels, hangers, beds, furniture, chairs...etc. We give each of these families a 'household starter kit' of cleaning supplies but we don't have the other items to give. We are working on some local partnerships with area agencies so that will help but please keep us in mind next time you clean out your cabinets. :)
Our Rapid Re-Housing Program empowers individuals and families experiencing homelessness to move into housing quickly. Assistance may include: rental deposits; short/medium term rental payments; utility deposits; and extensive case management services. Our Housing Case Managers work closely with clients to develop and implement a service plan to ensure they remain housed and can access other resources. Through this program, clients are stabilized in housing and assisted comprehensively to help ensure they do not face homelessness again. For more information, please click here.
Domestic violence is often a contributor or cause of homelessness. Escaping abusive situations means leaving the residence where the abuse is occurring and sometimes victims are unable to find shelter through friends, family or available community resources. Understanding the challenges of being homeless, and the statistics about homelessness and domestic violence, may help encourage victims to plan how they leave, when they leave, what circumstances they leave under and where they go, as this article explains.
- Approximately 50% of all women who are homeless report that domestic violence was the immediate cause of their homelessness.
- 84% of homeless women have experienced severe physical or sexual abuse at some point in their lives.
- 33% of homeless women have been victims of severe assault by their current or most recent intimate partner.
- By age 12, 83% of homeless children have been exposed to at least one serious violent event and nearly 25% have witnessed acts of violence within their families.
- Mothers experiencing homelessness have three times the rate of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (36%) and twice the rate of drug and alcohol dependence (41%).
- About 50% of mothers experienced a major depressive episode since becoming homeless. They have ulcers at four times the rate of other women.
We are working with a client who lives here:
We just admitted a family with 3 children who have been living in a barn. All 3 kids had no shoes or clothes. We are in desperate need of:
- Boy (age 10) clothes size 8 - 10, shoe size 3 1/2
- Girl (age 11) clothes size 14-16, shoe size ladies 7 1/2
- Girl (age 7) clothes size 6, shoe size 12-13. (This little girl is also sad that they had to leave behind her boas and dress up clothes so any dress-up stuff is welcome too.
Every January homeless service providers across the country are tasked by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to conduct a census of people experiencing homelessness. The data is reported to Congress and provides an overview of the homelessness in the region, state, and the country as a whole. They call this census 'Point in Time' (as in, 'on any given point in time there are ____ number of people experiencing homelessness') and last year in our region, there were 463 total people experiencing homelessness and 112 of them were children. Homelessness isn't always visible - especially child and family homelessness - so many people are surprised to hear that number is so high. The good news is, the numbers are going down thanks to our community of service providers working together to end homelessness for good. Click here to see the full report.
We have a fundraising luncheon coming up THIS THURSDAY, May 18th and we would love to see you there. There's only a few tickets left so please consider purchasing one today...All proceeds support the work we are doing to end homelessness. Enjoy a delicious lunch at City Club, possibly win a prize or 2, and hear the entertaining George Graham talk about food, Louisiana culture, and maybe even his experience competing on the Food Network!
Thanks to our supporters: Paul's Jewelry and Acadiana Profile Magazine.