Posts in Homelessness
Mercy at the Heart of Our Work

At Catholic Services of Acadiana, we strive to carry out the seven corporal works of mercy through every project and program we administer. Every corporal work calls upon people of goodwill to meet the unmet human needs of others - that’s the “corporal” part. Equally as important, all seven corporal works of mercy ask us to compassionately identify with the poor and marginalized members of society - that’s the “mercy” part. If you’ve never personally experienced hunger, homelessness, poverty, or imprisonment, truly identifying with the populations we serve at Catholic Services can be difficult. But when you visit with real people during times in their lives when they are on the receiving end of the corporal works of mercy, you begin to realize that the line between offering and receiving corporal works is incredibly thin.

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What's Happening Downtown?

In the last edition of Acadiana Works of Mercy, we shared how we are working with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff Office (LPSO) to identify new ways we can aid individuals who are re-entering the community after a period of institutionalization. The goal is to provide appropriate supports and resources to these individuals so that they can re-enter the community without becoming homeless. In just a few short months 

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Lafayette grappling with issue of homelessness downtown

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Lafayette's imposing federal courthouse looms over the sparsely trafficked Parc Putnam, where a handful of people each day and night make beds out of benches.

A few blocks away at Parc Sans Souci, where weekenders sip mimosas outside a popular brunch spot, vagrants crawl from sleeping bags on the same public stage that hosted a Downtown Alive! act the night before. Lafayette's homeless have become as much a fixture downtown as business professionals, bohemians, late-night barhoppers and inmate workers. But as the number of people sleeping in the streets has grown in recent months, city officials are actively discussing how to deal with them.

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Restoring Hope

Pope Francis speaks frequently about his concern for the marginalized and encourages us to give more of our attention to their needs. In November 2014, the media once again was buzzing about his newest idea - adding showers to the restrooms in St. Peter’s Square, a suggestion from a homeless man who said that finding food was not as difficult as finding a place to get clean. Many people have rallied around his initiative and called for similar ideas to be implemented in their communities. Catholic Services of Acadiana responded to a similar need in Acadiana three years ago. 

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Celebrating 100,000 Homes

This year at the National Conference on Ending Homelessness we were invited to participate in an exclusive reception celebrating the success of the 100,000 Homes Campaign. This reception was held in the Indian Treaty Room at the White House with a special message from Vice President Joe Biden. Eric Gammons, Catholic Services of Acadiana’s Director of Operations who attended said,

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