A long line snakes around the parking lot at the Castine Center near Mandeville as people wait to get vaccinations for their dogs at the St. Tammany Parish Humane Society's annual low cost vaccination and adoption event.
Stray animals are a big problem all over Louisiana, including on the Northshore. Once a year the St. Tammany Parish Humane Society organizes with other local shelters to provide a huge low-cost vaccination clinic and adoption event called Woofstock.
Norman Billiot of Lacombe stood in a long line that stretched far down the block outside a big building at Pelican Park in Mandeville.
Rafael and Beth Salcedo have a mission — to help underage victims of human trafficking. Their newly-licensed shelter is intended to help young girls across the south.
Rafael Salcedo used to work as a counselor for the Department of Family and Children’s services. A few years ago he started to see young clients who had been victims of sex trafficking. It was disturbing to him and his wife Beth.
The Big Branch National Wildlife Refuge is between Slidell and Mandeville. Founded in the 1990s, it protects endangered birds and combats coastal land loss. It’s not just wildlife that thrives at Big Branch. The park’s volunteer program brings people of all ages and backgrounds together.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness in St. Tammany Parish is trying something a little new: training people who have mental illnesses to help people with similar problems.
Roxanne Skal is a Peer Support Specialist. She works with a variety of people, both in community support groups and at the Northlake Behavioral Health Center in Mandeville. A couple times a week, she drives from her office on one side of Northlake’s campus to a little brown brick house on the other side, where she leads a group for recovering alcoholics.
Homelessness is a big issue in the New Orleans region, one that extends to the Northshore. Winter is particularly hard — shelters fill up, it is cold, and there is often nowhere to go. It can be especially hard for single men, and one organization is Slidell is trying to help.
Mark McVille has been homeless for two years. He has worked as a tugboat captain and construction worker, and was in the army for a while. He always had a pretty good job and had no problem supporting his kids.
An organization in Covington is doing what it can to help families of children with disabilities.
Northshore Families Helping Families is a family-driven resource center that provides information and referrals for families along the Northshore. One of their key events is called “Touch a Truck.” It’s a fundraiser for the organization, but also an opportunity for kids to interact with law enforcement and have fun.
Anointed Hands Boxing Gym on Pontchartrain Drive in Slidell is a modest facility, filled with loud music and kids. It is kind of like a community center — the coach taught a group of kids how to hit the boxing bags while others played on gym equipment and parents joked at the front desk.
It is not necessarily what you would expect at a boxing gym. That could be because the owners, Dupre and Shedee Strickland, aim to do more than offer training for aspiring boxers — they want to help.
Preservationists and music lovers in Mandeville are working to create a new seasonal tradition — enjoying jazz music in an open-air, historic jazz hall. Cars lined a back street in a Mandeville neighborhood on a recent Friday, as soft Christmas lights and the sound of jazz lit up the warm autumn air.
When you are down on your luck in Louisiana, dental care can be hard to come by. Medicare doesn’t cover it for adults, so many low-income people have to rely on volunteer dentists and special clinics that often have long waitlists. In Covington, the Food Bank has made helping these people a priority.
The Food Bank provides food for those in need, but they also have a thrift store, an emergency assistance center and a dental clinic. They call these their “core ministries,” and hope the services target the community’s primary needs.