History & Values


The Beginning

Volunteers of America was founded in 1896 by social reformers Ballington and Maud Booth. They envisioned a movement dedicated to “reaching and uplifting” the American people. On behalf of the organization, the Booths pledged to “go wherever we are needed, and do whatever comes to hand.” That declaration continues to guide Volunteers of America’s outreach efforts today.When Maud and Ballington Booth thought of names for their movement 120 years ago, one word remained prominent: “volunteer.” In those days, a volunteer was anyone who was committed to a mission or cause. Since its earliest days, when Volunteers of America brought food, medicine and comfort to people not served by other charities, volunteering has been instrumental in every aspect of the organization’s ministry of service.For more information on our history and national organization please visit www.voa.org/our-history.

North Louisiana

Volunteers of America North Louisiana established in 1935 with a maternity home in Shreveport. Over the years, we helped create thousands of loving families through adoption.

As community needs changed, we responded with a range of services. In the 1970s, we were among the first to open group homes for people with disabilities. In 1986, we opened an office in Alexandria, reflecting our growing services to communities in Central Louisiana. A few years later in 1989, we acquired the LightHouse, a community center in downtown Shreveport. Our most recent effort is serving those who served us – our veterans. In April 2010, we opened a 56-bed transitional home for homeless veterans.


Volunteers of America North Louisiana reaches out to over 8,000 people a year by providing affordable senior housing, residential support for individuals with intellectual, mental and physical disabilities, services for children and families, and a range of continuum services for veterans.

Volunteers of America is a faith-based organization. Although we are founded in Christianity, our unique ministry brings people of all faiths together in service. This active and inclusive spirituality is best expressed in our mission statement, adopted more than a century ago.