F A Q's - SMILE Community Action Agency
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F A Q’s

How do you qualify for SMILE programs and services?

Most services are based upon income guidelines and other criteria. Each program has its own eligibility requirements. To determine if you are eligible for a program, contact the SMILE Community Action Center in the parish that you reside. For a complete listing and brief description of services, please view ``Programs.``

What does the name SMILE stand for?

SMILE is an acronym, utilizing the first letter of the three parishes in the Agency’s service area – St. Martin, Iberia, and Lafayette. The `` E`` has been added to make the acronym. The legal name of the Agency is the St. Martin, Iberia, Lafayette Community Action Agency.

What programs and services does SMILE provide?

SMILE provides a wide array of programs, including transportation, emergency assistance, rent/mortgage assistance, utility assistance, comprehensive housing counseling, group mentoring, senior volunteerism, transitional housing (homeless shelters), group mentoring, referrals, and more. For a complete listing and brief description of services, please view ``Programs.``

In what areas does SMILE provide services and programs?

SMILE provides services in St. Martin, Iberia and Lafayette Parishes. These are the Agency’s official service areas. However, in recent years, the Agency has also been providing LIHEAP services in Acadia and Jeff Davis Parishes after it was awarded a state contract to do so. For more information, please view the ``Agency Locations,`` which are under the website listing of ``About Us`` and ``Contact Us.``

What is LIHEAP?

LIHEAP, which stands for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, is SMILE’s largest utility assistance program. The Agency receives more than $1 million to provide utility assistance for qualified households. The funding is based upon income guidelines and other criteria. Eligible applicants receive assistance, ranging from $150 to $500. The funds are forwarded to applicants’ utility company, and applied to their bill. Eligible applicants can qualify for funds every six months.

Does SMILE accept walk-ins or appointments?

SMILE accepts both walk-ins and appointments. However, the Agency encourages clients to call ahead to see if funds are available. The Agency also recommends that persons schedule appointments so that they do not have a lengthy wait.

Does SMILE use volunteers?

SMILE welcomes volunteers. Persons, who are at least 18 years of age, can volunteer at SMILE Community Action Centers. SMILE also welcomes volunteers to assist at its centers with professional skills, including computer technology, clerical and maintenance. For more information, please view the website listing of ``Supporting Us.`` SMILE’s Retired & Senior Volunteer Program welcomes senior volunteers (55 years and older) who are placed at work stations throughout Lafayette Parish. Please see the website listing for RSVP for more information. For more information, please view ``RSVP`` a subgroup of ``Field Operations,`` which is under the website listing of ``Departments.``

Does SMILE accept donations?

SMILE welcomes donations. Most of the funds that the Agency receives are mandated for specific programs. The Agency is in need of discretionary funds that will assist in providing services to clients who do not necessarily fall within income guidelines but have emergency needs. The discretionary funds are also needed to assist the Agency in meeting operating costs. Checks can be made out to: SMILE Community Action Agency. Mail checks to P.O. Box 3343, Lafayette, LA 70502. Also, feel free to use our PayPal account. SMILE also encourages the community to adopt one of its Head Start Centers or homeless families living in its shelters in Lafayette and Iberia Parishes. Particularly for the families in the shelters, community residents and businesses may wish to provide clothing, gifts and/or school supplies. Also during the holidays, SMILE welcomes donations for families in need in the community. For more information, please view the website listing of ``Support Us.``

Are donations to SMILE tax-deductible?

Yes. SMILE is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization.

Does SMILE accept questions, comments, suggestions and/or complaints?

SMILE welcomes and encourages community input. The website offers an opportunity for you to do just that. Just click on ``Contact Us`` at the top of the website page. You may also contact any Agency center and speak to the supervisor in charge. Also, if a client is not satisfied with services, he or she can appeal to a supervisor, and/or fill out a grievance form.

Smile Community Action