Southern Mutual Help Association’s mission is to build healthy and prosperous rural communities in Louisiana.

Since its founding by strong women leaders in the sugar cane fields of South Louisiana in 1969, the work of Southern Mutual Help Association and its family of companies  has grown to include families across the State of Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico region: improving systems, creating institutions, engaging in equitable economic development and the just management of natural resources, and providing innovative partnerships and financing products that build on the assets of hard-working families.

  • Building community capacity to make change.
  • Providing access to affordable capital.
  • Forging innovative partnerships and "building bridges” among unlikely partners.
  • Increasing the capacity of institutions across all sectors to invest effectively in low-wealth communities.
Sister Helen Vinton visits a local farmer after the hurricane to see the extent of the damage. The ground is dry, cracked and completely ruined, as are the crops.