Hospitality Cares is a crisis grant program offering emergency financial assistance to individuals working in the hospitality industry – one of the region’s largest employment sectors.
The program will award emergency grants up to $2,500 to eligible employees at businesses running active United Way workplace campaigns in the hospitality industry. The funds will provide temporary assistance during times of crisis to cover basic financial needs, including housing, medical and utility bills.
Funds for the program’s crisis grants are generated through employee contributions to UWSELA hospitality workplace campaigns. Fifty percent of campaign proceeds will support emergency crisis grant allocations overseen by the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation (LHF), and 50 percent will be dedicated to existing United Way of Southeast Louisiana education, health and financial stability initiatives serving its entire seven-parish community, of which our hospitality workers are an integral part.
UWSELA identified the partnership with LHF as a new tactic in its fight to support the 43 percent of the population recognized as ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). ALICE individuals and families live above the poverty line, but just one car repair, health emergency or harsh storm away from falling into poverty themselves.
Southeast Louisiana’s high costs of living – including housing, transportation and childcare – position many in the hospitality industry under the ALICE threshold and unable to save for emergencies.
The program’s grants are only open to employees of businesses in the hospitality industry running active United Way workplace campaigns. New businesses interested in participating may contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. There is no fee to participate in the program.
Real people. Real Stories.
"When I was diagnosed with cancer and had surgery I knew two things, 1. It was going to be expensive and 2. I was lucky. Lucky that they found the cancer and was able to remove it, treatment would be more preventative than still trying to kill it. But I didn't realize how lucky until I was contacted by the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation. The statements were already coming in from treatment and amounts were huge! I compared my costs to the insurance and reminded myself how lucky I was. But our bills were mounting as well and I wasn't sure how those were going to be handled.
The Louisiana Hospitality Foundation provided a grant to my family that covered most of our out of pocket medical expenses. I knew I was one of the lucky cancer patients, I just didn't realize how lucky!"
Phil DeGruy, Sales Manager, New Orleans Fish House
“The Louisiana Hospitality Foundation swept in to offer assistance at a time when I was overwhelmed with the cost of a double mastectomy. Medical expenses were mounting and it was hard to focus on happiness and health (which is crucial when dealing with disease.) This unexpected act of kindness put a smile on my face when I felt there was little to smile about, and much-needed funds to help cover my already exorbitant medical expenses! This was a very bright spot in a very dark ordeal and I’ve emerged better for it, and with a deep appreciation for why the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation exists.”
Lyn Morein, Manager, Arnaud's
"LHF came through for me in a huge way after I was involved in a car accident that put me out of work for about five months. Not only was I able to continue my recovery without the added stress of paying rent and medical bills, but the LHF really showed me how the hospitality community here takes care of its own. I'm not sure how I could have made it through without their support.”
Lauren Bailey, Sous Chef, Willa Jean
"I would like to thank you for your assistance in helping my family and I with housing assistance after my wife’s passing. This meant a great deal to us all when we were adjusting to living with one income. I’m so grateful for your help. I love you guys!”
Anthony Spencer, Cook, Zea Rotisserie & Bar
"I was completely blown away how fast the Foundation helped me. I felt genuinely cared for by a group of individuals who didn’t know me personally but we shared the same love and passion for hospitality in New Orleans. I will always remember Louisiana Hospitality Foundation and all that they have done for my family [after our house fire.]”
Dalila Blanchard, Bartender, formerly with Fogo de Chao