A local non-profit is lending a helping hand to low income families with newborns.
Catholic Charities of Shreveport is getting the word out about Gabriel's Closet. The closet has everything new mothers need and it's all free of charge to those living on government assistance.
The store is open on Mondays and Thursdays from 1 to 4 p.m. Executive Director Jean Dresley said the store has been a success since it opened in June 2012.
"We really want to help them to get that head start that they need so their baby can come home from the hospital or if they are home already, that they have the basics that they need to be healthy," said Dresley.
The store is operated by volunteers. Catholic Charities is accepting donations of gently used clothing, and toys. Mothers receiving the items are encouraged to attend the organization's parenting and money management classes.
The non-profit also offers emergency assistance to those falling on hard times by helping them pay their rent and utilities. To receive help, the applicant must bring proof of income, a bill or lease, identification, and a social security card for everyone living in the residence.
Catholic Charities will pay rent up to $300 and utility bills up to $150 dollars. The client must also pay a portion of the bill and attend the non-profit's money management classes.