12 Days of Christmas: The Wellspring

We're highlighting NELA non-profits until Dec. 23 in our 12 Days of Christmas segment.
Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 8:08 AM CST
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - It’s the ninth day of our 12 Days of Christmas segment, highlighting Northeast Louisiana nonprofits.

Today (Dec. 20), we’re highlighting The Wellspring. They’ve been around for over 90 years, serving the needs that arise most in our region.

“Just let our program participants see that this is not a permanent situation you find yourself in and we can help you live through the crisis of today,” says Caroline Cascio, The President, and CEO of The Wellspring.

Their longevity is a testament to the need for their services.

“Creating better access to mental health services for folks in our community is really important and one thing that is also a priority for our area is an emergency shelter that can shelter homeless families you know we don’t really have that in Northeast Louisiana.”

Cascio says families make up the most significant portion of our homeless population. Recently, they received over a million dollars in funding from the Bezos Day 1 Families fund to fight homelessness. That money will go directly toward the programs they believe are needed most and currently, they’re working on a plan to dole out the funding.

Over the years, their programs have changed, but they’ve always worked to help those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

“We have a very large program for our homeless veterans or those at risk of becoming homeless,” says Cascio. “And then we have things like permanent and supportive housing for persons with substance abuse disorder, a mental health disability, or other physical disabilities.”

Another one of the agency’s main goals is to help domestic abuse survivors.

“We’ve got our area’s only safe shelter for survivors of domestic violence and their children and we’ve had that since the 80′s.”

Cascio says their shelter has 22 beds.

She says they started a newer endeavor, their Hope Program, about three years ago.

“It was a demonstration program so that means we’re one in a handful in the country to start this project and what we learn will be used in other communities down the road and that program is one that children and their non-offending caregivers are able to work together to overcome the trauma they’ve experienced and we’re seeing great things come out of that,” says Cascio.

They just moved back into their building on Jackson Street after it suffered damage from a tornado in 2020.

They always need volunteers and monetary donations, visit their website to help.