Over the last 16 years with Catholic Services of Acadiana, I have had the privilege of witnessing God generously provide for the needs of His beloved poor. God has shown up in many big ways over the years, but most often He has revealed Himself in small and quiet ways. The benevolence of individuals, businesses, churches, civic groups, and schools have sustained our ministry for over 40 years.
I am compelled to write to you at this time because Catholic Services of Acadiana is experiencing funding challenges. Acadiana’s economic downturn, multiple capital campaigns, and the August flood have strained the capacity of our community’s charitable giving. Additionally, many of our grants have been reduced or eliminated. At the time of print, the combination of these factors has left us with a projected $100,000 deficit this fiscal year, which ends in June. As a result, we have cut expenses where possible, eliminated a staff position and discontinued two programs.
I believe that you share in our concern for those who are experiencing poverty, hunger and homelessness in Acadiana. We believe in ensuring that not only basic needs are met in our community, but that those who are suffering through unimaginable circumstances deserve a future filled with hope.
With the economic downturn and flooding, our neighbors facing hardships are increasingly seeking our services. Over the last year, we have shared over 140,000 meals with the hungry, sheltered 371 men, women, children and veterans, provided showers and laundry services to 560 people living on the streets, and provided 955 households with $167,000 in emergency financial assistance. Most importantly, we moved 330 people from homelessness into stable housing.
As we enter into the Lenten season of sacrifice and with confidence in God’s boundless mercy, I humbly share our financial needs with you, in hope that God may stir in you a desire to respond according to your means.
With joy and gratitude,