New Orleans: Lantern Light Ministries

My trip to New Orleans was filled with many chances to experience the service opportunities and immerse myself in culture of the city as I was able to shadow multiple AmeriCorps volunteers in their various activities and roles. One of my days was spent with Lantern Light Ministries and their “Rebuild Center”, a shelter founded by the Presentation Sisters in 2007. Their goals are to assist both the homeless and the working poor by helping meet basic human needs: showers, laundry, nutritious meals, a place of safety and peace, etc. (Full list at their website

What I appreciated most was how warm and attentive the staff was and how much of a community they have created for their guests. Never once did I see them lose sight of the bigger picture and the good they were doing. They are aiming to do everything necessary to help these people build their lives back up. Below is the list of services they offer from their Monday – Friday schedule. They really are well equipped and trained to prepare each guest for a sustainable future.

While at the Rebuild Center I spent time with the guests, heard their stories, assisted with the serving of lunch, and was lucky enough to lead everyone in pre-lunch prayer. It was a beautiful experience. Thank you to my friend Erika, the entire staff, the Presentation Sisters, and the guests for welcoming me to the Center.

1. Birth Certificate Assistance - 
Mondays 7:30 – 8:00 a.m. to sign up for interview
2. ID Assistance
 - Tuesdays 7:30 – 8 a.m. for lottery LIMITED - only 10 spots.
3. Lunch
 - Be inside our gate by 12:40 p.m. (number capped at 235)
4. Prescription Assistance - 
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 8 a.m. – 9 a.m.
Daily 1:30 p.m.
5. Mail
 - Daily 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 – 2:00 p.m.
6. Notary Services
 - Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 12:15 p.m.
7. Emergency financial assistance - 
For people who live within the boundaries of St. Joseph Church
Mondays and Tuesdays 8 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. (Must have ID, proof of income, proof of address)
8. Groceries for area residents - 
For people who live within the boundaries of St. Joseph Church
Thursdays and Fridays 8 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. (Must have ID, proof of income, proof of address)
9. Food Stamp (SNAP) Application Assistance
 - Thursdays 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
10. Resumes typed - 
Fridays 10:00 a.m. (please hand in hand written resume on Thursday)

Collecting the tickets for lunch from each guest and wishing them a Happy Holiday

Reading the prayer over the intercom

At the end of a hard day’s work we finally took out the crown and sash. Pictured here with Sister Vera!

Seek Happiness,



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