The United Way of St. Charles is once again operating out of its River Road office in Luling since being relocated after Hurricane Ida severely damaged its building.
“We are officially moved back into our River Road office after almost two years of being displaced,” UWSC Executive Director John Dias said. “We’re very happy. It was harder than we thought and took longer than we thought, but it came out really nice. It’s going to make us a better organization.”
Dias said the August 2021 hurricane forced the UWSC to operate out of space at River Parishes Community College – United Way of St. Charles Campus on Highway 90 in Boutte.
“The community college suffered over a million dollars’ worth of damage itself,” he said. “We were in three spare offices there. The community college folks were fantastic to let us use what they had. We lost everything but the structural walls. It was bad. It was really bad.”
UWSC’s need to rebuild their office space at 13207 River Road in Luling allowed the organization to reconfigure their building and use the space more effectively, Dias said. The new space has private offices, updated plumbing, and a new top coat on the slab that should help with frequent flooding issues the building had.
Dias said that for the past year and a half UWSC has had to scale back some of its offerings due to a lack of space, but now that the organization is back on River Road the community will see an uptick in offerings like wellness programs and financial literacy classes.
“We also used to have a meeting room that was a resource to the community, and now we’re able to offer that again,” he said. “We want to be a resource for individuals who say, ‘You know, I have a neighbor who could use a handicap ramp and I don’t know who to call, or a person I go to church with is battling cancer and needs some help.’ That’s why we’re here.”