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SMILE Community Action Agency, local organizations provide utility, rent assistance

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Posted at 6:47 PM, Mar 17, 2021

LAFAYETTE, La. — SMILE Community Action Agency partnered with several local organizations on Wednesday to host a community assistance event.

The "Going Green" event was held at the Dupuis Recreation Center on E Pont Des Mouton from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Organizers say the "green" theme was inspired by St. Patrick's Day and one of SMILE's greatest missions, to help families with utility assistance and conserving energy.

The organization's focus was on bringing their services from their four walls out into the community. It can be hard for people to get to their offices, so SMILE CEO Craig Matthews says the goal was to combine all of SMILE's available resources for utility, rental, and tuition assistance, along with housing counseling services, and make them easily accessible for those in need.

SMILE partnered with several local organizations, including LCG, Acadiana Workforce Solutions, and various businesses and restaurants. Free health screenings and employment assistance were offered to those in attendance.

The organization also partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank and were working to distribute around 12,000 pounds of food to the community. SMILE says it was hoping to get the food out of the boxes and onto tables.

SMILE is planning on holding another event like Wednesday's before the summer months begin, but no details have been established yet, Matthews said. He adds that the event was successful in putting people in the right direction to get the help they need.

"Today we have seen nothing but smiles. People have been excited, it's been a very jubilant atmosphere and people are walking away really satisfied because they have gotten the help they were looking for," said Matthews.

To keep up with the latest on SMILE's events, click here.

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