Serving survivors for over 35 years
Faith House was founded in 1980 by Sister Mary Thomas as a shelter for homeless women. After the oil field bust of 1987, the influx of homeless women was astounding and Sister Mary Thomas assessed the need for emergency housing in Acadiana.
As the calls from abused women increased, Faith House began to shelter them as well as the homeless. In 1987, strict confidentiality policies, security measures and a counseling component were added to address their needs and in 1992, the Board designated Faith House as a battered women’s program, exclusively.
That first shelter had only 28 beds and was reluctant to turn anyone in need away. Luckily, an eager board member, as well as a fundraising volunteer, took on the project. The board member located the perfect spot for a shelter and the land was purchased, an architect hired and blueprints were drawn up. The volunteer called 10 friends, who called 10 more friends and so on and “Women Helping Women” was formed – the namesake for our yearly luncheon. With the $300,000 raised, new ground was broken in 1998 on the new shelter, with it opening on Christmas Eve that year
The shelter now includes 45 beds, with services extended to six other parishes in Central and South Louisiana through outreach offices and mobile advocacy. Since its inception, Faith House has transformed from a women’s homeless shelter to a crisis center and shelter for all survivors of domestic violence, no matter their age, race, gender, sexuality, social or economic level.
In 2016, Faith House opened two Family Justice Centers; one in Acadiana and one in Central Louisiana. Faith House currently oversees the daily operation of the Family Justice Center of Acadiana, while remaining partners with the Family Justice Center of Central Louisiana. The Family Justice Center model is a national model that creates collaboration among local organizations to enhance and improve the local response to domestic violence cases and decrease mortality. We are excited to be able to provide such a comprehensive service to our community by providing easy access to law enforcement, legal services, counseling, and support services all under one roof.
Board of Directors
The leadership of the Board of Directors has been steadfast in their intense dedication to upholding the mission statement. The greatest success is that the program continues to grow and the services offered to all survivors of domestic violence have surpassed all expectations.
Faith House’s Board of Directors consists of community members who proudly serve as volunteers and oversee the accountability of the organization.
Faith House currently has over 40 staff members providing services to survivors.
Faith House Executive Director
Billi Lacombe was born and raised in Jennings, Louisiana; from a very early age, she dreamed of helping women and children in her community. Her dream was realized in 1998 when she was led to a position with Faith House.
Now, as the Executive Director of Faith House, she is able to contribute to the improvement of the lives of women and children in our community on a daily basis.
Faith House Assistant Director & FJCA Director
Crystal Scrantz has worked for Faith House since 2004. Throughout her career, she has worked with both women and children who were affected by domestic violence. Crystal is committed to providing the very best services to survivors and continually strives to improve the local response to domestic violence in our community.
Crystal is the founder and co-chair of the Lafayette Domestic Violence Council and was instrumental in the creation of the Family Justice Center of Acadiana.
Children's Program Director
Sara Terro has worked at Faith House since 2008 as the Children’s Program Manager and has over 15 years of experience providing services to children in one aspect or another. She works with Faith House shelter, outreach, and Family Justice Center child advocates to ensure that children who have experienced domestic violence receive support, understanding, and advocacy to break the cycle of domestic violence.
Rebecca McMillan works with the staff to ensure all survivor needs are met while in the shelter. Rebecca also oversees facility maintenance at the emergency shelter ensuring the shelter is always up to all Health and Safety guidelines.
Rebecca has a personal background in domestic violence and has a passion to work with survivors as well as an understanding of what the cycle of abuse can do long-term in an individual’s life. She cannot see herself working in any other field.