Published on March 17, 2016
The day after historic flooding occurred across Louisiana, Catholic Charities was on the ground and ready to help in Bogalusa. The damage was extensive and visible immediately upon arrival. The Bogalusa Senior Center, a hub of activity for Bogalusa’s elderly community, took on enough water to render it unusable for at least a month. The seniors will begin receiving their meals and other services from a nearby church until the center can be repaired. Employees of both Catholic Charities and the Washington Parish Council on Aging packaged and handed out a week’s worth of meals, which were generously donated by Second Harvest Food Bank, to the estimated 20 seniors who could transport themselves to the center. Home deliveries were also made to an additional estimated 20 immobile seniors. Nonperishable food was handed out to those who did not have a working refrigerator or freezer.
Catholic Charities counselors and case managers were also on hand for those who needed further assistance. They helped deliver food and checked on residents who had visible damage to their homes. Neighbors, community members, and the Washington Parish Council on Aging referred Catholic Charities to those most in need of assistance. Annunciation Church is also serving as a shelter and a hub for assistance to people in the area. Many residents had moved their water-logged belongings to the curb to be collected as trash or laid them in the sun in the hopes that they would dry. Case managers talked with residents about the damage to their homes, their insurance, and their living and eating arrangements. In Washington Parish, which includes Bogalusa, only about 375 homes had flood insurance.
Catholic Charities will also have teams of volunteers to assist several residents in cleaning their homes on Saturday, March 19th. Sign up to volunteer here!