Lake Charles council votes to reinstate ‘Mayor’s Commission on Disabilities’

Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 9:53 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - A partnership between the city of Lake Charles and a local non-profit is aimed at helping those with mental and physical disabilities.

Final action was taken at Wednesday’s council meeting, allowing the City of Lake Charles to partner with local non-profit “Families Helping Families” to reinstate the Mayor’s Commission on Disabilities.

“Unfortunately, with COVID and everything else going on the last couple of years, the Mayor’s Commission on Disabilities has went a little dormant, and we want to reignite it,” Mayor Nic Hunter said.

The commission works with the community to strengthen public understanding of people with mental and physical disabilities, opening the doors for employment opportunities, education, and more.

“The goal and objective was to advocate on behalf of our community with disabilities here,” Hunter said. “To not only make sure that people like me and other elected officials know about the experience and needs of those with disabilities but to also inform families of the services that are out there.”

Families Helping Families, who were previously a partner, will help run the program.

“We provide information, referral training, peer support, and advocacy skills,” executive director Susan Riehn said. “We like to call ourselves a one-stop shop because we don’t work with just one type of disability, we run the gambit of disabilities.”

The goal is to help people like Harrison Veuleman and his mother.

“They have been the resource that I have turned to be it for education, understanding waiver service, going to their resource fairs, occupational opportunities,” Amy Veuleman said. “For over two decades, I have turned to them whenever I needed council.”