Providence House reflects on accomplishments of 2021
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Since 1988, Providence House has pulled hundreds of families out of homelessness. Decades later, the coronavirus pandemic has created significant hurdles for the organization — but the downtown Shreveport nonprofit perseveres, just like the individuals it serves.
“We had to pivot a little bit and help families from becoming homeless, people who had lost their jobs,” said Verni Howard, executive director of Providence House. “We received over 4,000 calls for homelessness prevention” in 2021.
Howard explained that Providence House isn’t simply a homeless shelter providing essentials like food, clothing and a roof over a family’s head. It instills a sense of confidence, courage and faith into families who need help through education and work force development.
“There are so many families that are one paycheck from becoming homeless,” Howard said. “How can we help you to become self-sufficient?”
For example, Providence House partners with Bossier Parish Community College to provide vocational training, which leads to a source of income for families who are working with the nonprofit.
“We do bi-vocational training; so while we’re helping mom and dad with education, we’re also helping babies. ... We want them to be kindergarten-ready.”
According to a social media post, Providence House accomplished the following in 2021:
- 17,888 nights of lodging provided
- 8 families graduated (8 adults, 11 children)
- 20,913 meals provided
- 16 families attained permanent housing
- 212 counseling sessions completed
- 63 families assisted with rental aid
- 39 people graduated from Workforce Development Program (working with Bossier Parish Community College)
“It is the lightbulb, it is why we get up every single morning,” Howard shared. “When you change the life of one family and you think about the long-term impact, it’s a lifetime.”
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