Lake Providence, the county seat of East Carroll Parish, is a small and impoverished city of 4,295 people, with a declining population. It is home to four prisons which make up a large part of the local economy.
In Lake Providence:
- 77.8% of families with children live below the poverty line.
- 54.4% of families have an annual income of less than $15,000
- 86.1% of the population is African-American and 13.6% is White
In 2001, Time Magazine called Lake Providence “The Poorest Place In America”, reporting:
“The town has no public parks or swimming pools, no movie theaters, no shopping malls, not even a McDonald’s or a Wal-Mart…. Restless teenagers mill around narrow streets lined with burned-out houses and dilapidated trailer parks… If there is a poorer place in America, the Census Bureau cannot find it.”
Lake Providence is located in the Northeast corner of Louisiana, near both Arkansas and Mississippi. The town has a great deal of natural beauty, featuring a six-mile-long lake lined with cypress trees. Area farms raise corn, soy beans, cotton, catfish, and sweet potatoes.
Sister Bernie Barrett, a member of the Leadership Conference of Religious Women, a group committed to working as “change agents for a just world order”, coordinates the Family-to-Family program in Lake Providence.
In Lake Providence, Family-to-Family purchases groceries for our sponsored families from Jong’s Market.
Read about Sister Bernie and her work with Lake Providence families here.
Read more about Lake Providence:
Sister Bernie Barrett
106 Ingram St.
Lake Providence, Louisiana 71254
Hastings-on-Hudson, New York
Sources: 2010 U.S. Census; U.S. Census Bureau, 2005-2009 American Community Survey; Epodunk.com.; East Carroll Poverty – FedStats.