Once a LightHouse kid, always a LightHouse kid
Volunteers of America’s LightHouse reaches out to families living in some of Shreveport and Bossier City’s poorest neighborhoods. We are a beacon of hope for those who strive to overcome poverty, illiteracy and joblessness.
A center of community life since 1986, the LightHouse offers a wide range of programs serving children, adolescents and their families. Our goals are educational achievement, economic self-sufficiency and productive citizenship.
We now serve around 600 children in six sites. We have three community-based sites: Downtown Shreveport, the Highland Center and Bossier City’s Scott Street Housing Complex. Our school-based sites serve students at Judson and Forest Hill Elementary Schools and Lakeshore Middle School.
The LightHouse is funded in part by The Community Foundation of North Louisiana and The United Way Fund of The Community Foundation.
Volunteers of America of North Louisiana, in partnership with the Caddo Parish School District, intends to apply for the Louisiana Department of Education’s 21st Community Century Learning Center grant.
Academics come first at The LightHouse. From kindergarten to high school, the LightHouse promises education is the pathway out of poverty. Our teachers and volunteers help hundreds of children and young adults every year to learn, to achieve, to realize their dreams. Our coordinators are famous for saying “there’s no such thing as no homework.”
Most sites have both homework helpers to assist with the day to day and tutors who can help with a child’s specific need.
In the 2013-14 school year, 99 percent of our students stayed in school and 72 percent passed the LEAP test on the first try.
The LightHouse encourages good citizenship and community service in all our work. The Teen Club participants make regular trips to the Rescue Mission to serve food to the homeless, and all students have an opportunity to participate in various service projects throughout the year. We match trained mentors with young people to provide positive role models. We also track student’s discipline issues and are pleased to report in 2013-14, 99 percent of our students avoided the juvenile justice system or teen pregnancy.
Our services to children are only effective if we reach the entire family. Our family coaches meet with and counsel each family to see what other needs might exist in the home and how the community can help. If complicated issues arise, children and their families can be referred to our licensed counselors for help. Parents also have access to laundry facilities and a computer lab.
The support of a caring adult makes the biggest difference in a child’s life. Through our mentoring program, we hope to provide each of our children with one more cheerleader who can be a guide and coach as they grow up. Mentors are paired with a students and asked to spend an hour a week with them for at least a year. More details can be found through the link above.
While we directly serve the poorest in our community, Volunteers of America’s LightHouse enriches all of us by bringing people together in service. Because we rely on private donations, your support is critical. You are welcome to come visit anytime or during one of our regular tours, where you’ll hear from someone who’s life has been touched by the LightHouse.