• SMHA is proud to be included in the NeighborWorks WORKS Book.  The book launch is Monday, December 12th!  News stories often highlight communities in crisis, but what does it take to lift up a community? Nonprofit organizations in the NeighborWorks network are breaking down barriers every day. In our forthcoming book, experts on the ground tell the stories you don’t often hear.  READ MORE and see how you can get a copy of the book at NEIGHBORWORKS BOOK
    • It is time to hear and heed the voices of Rural America, to give due respect to the contributions of rural American families and communities that have fed and fueled our nation for generations. Rural America produces the natural resources that make our country strong, provides stewardship of our food, our lands, and our waters, and is bedrock to American prosperity. Southern Mutual Help Association, Inc. (SMHA) is a comprehensive community development corporation with a half-century of experience listening to, learning from and working with rural families and communities. We have experience identifying and removing policy/regulatory barriers that impede small town prosperity, a track record of creating institutions when needed to fill community gaps, and a proven history of implementing innovative strategies for "rebuilding Louisiana better than before.” We have demonstrated time and time again our ability to build bridges where before there were walls, to create safe spaces where unlikely partners gather over common ground and a shared agenda. Our nation needs such expertise today, now more than ever.
    • Unfortunately, and maybe fortunately, SMHA has HUUUGE experience in disaster recovery and rebuilding communities better than before. We are having flashbacks to the Katrina / Rita disasters of 2005. So many around the country helped SMHA recover / rebuild 1,064 homes, churches and businesses in over 120 rural towns, cities and settlements across coastal Louisiana. We did it again after the BP Oil Spill when fishers were devastated and livelihoods damaged. We are still helping fisher families recover with our long-term Fisher Loan Fund. SMHA is focusing in the West End of New Iberia that is most in need. One third of the City of New Iberia's 30,000 residents live in the West End.
    • The Fall shrimp season has begun, yet shrimp boat after shrimp boat is tied up at the dock. Why are Louisiana shrimpers not out fishing? Because the recent flooding pushed shrimp out of reach of shrimpers who don’t have the equipment to fish in very deep waters. The huge influx of freshwater affected the salinity such that shrimp moved to deeper, saltier waters in the Gulf. Fishers also report seeing no finfish but an unusual number of undesirable stingrays. No shrimp and fish means no income for the fisher and no income for the dock that processes and markets the catch.

    • NeighborWorks Book Launch
    • It is Time to Hear and Heed the Voices of Rural America
    • SMHA Steps Up Amidst Flood Disaster
    • Louisiana Fishers:  Flood Waters Damage More Than Homes


    Messages from SMHA


    A LETTER FROM SMHA PRESIDENT & CEO
    SMHA has for the last decade maintained to foundations and policy-makers that their metro-centric approach and investment was not viable without understanding the importance of Rural America. 

     "Life After City Hall” has begun for Hilda Daigre Curry 
    Curry, who completes her term (and 12th year) as Mayor of New Iberia on December 31, has joined the team at Southern Mutual Help Association, Inc. (SMHA), an award-winning not-for-profit community development corporation based in New Iberia. 
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