LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - As businesses across Southwest Louisiana continue their recovery process, for several local nonprofits without one of their largest sources of income, it’s hard to predict what the future may look like.
For Jacqueline Green CEO of the Calcasieu Council on Aging, the bingo hall is a significant source of income, and the damage caused as a result of the two hurricanes is going to have major impacts on their budget in the future.
“We normally bring in anywhere between $250,000 and $400,000 depending on how the year flows and how participation goes from our bingo proceeds. And it all goes directly into our programs to help us provide more meals, more transportation rides and more medication assistance for our clients,” Green said. “It’s another blow to our funding that we need drastically to help our seniors. Our bingo hall funding is about one-fourth of our funding, and it’s definitely going to take a toll on how we do things in the next coming years.”
However, the Calcasieu Council on Aging is not the only nonprofit that benefits from the bingo hall. McNeese Cowboy Club, American Legion Post 1 and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana are just a few that are losing out as a result of the damage.
“The amount of money that we’re losing by the devastation with the hurricane, it’s going to put all of our nonprofits in a huge negative capacity for serving the community,” said Erin Davison, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters SWLA.
And that impact stretches across the community.
“All of us together, if you look at the amount of money that we put back on the economy with personnel that we hire, taxes that we pay - we provide the bingo winners their winnings which they put back into their economy in Southwest Louisiana,” Davison said. “All of that is gone right now.”
They’re currently looking for a commercial building to rent, but because of the widespread devastation across Southwest Louisiana, they haven’t had much luck.