Lake Providence, Louisiana

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

Time Magazine once named 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.

Community Contact:
Sister Bernie Barrett
106 Ingram St.
Lake Providence, Louisiana 71254

Sources: 2010 U.S. Census; U.S. Census Bureau, 2005-2009 American Community Survey;; East Carroll Poverty – FedStats.

Read more about Lake Providence’s poverty below.

1. The most unequal place in America

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