Travelers Aid Society of Greater New Orleans

About Us


In the  mid-19th Century on the banks of the Mississippi River, the community of St Louis struggled to help travelers headed west through their city. They came to explore the wide-open frontier, and maybe even find gold in the hills of California. But unreliable stage coach schedules, cholera and unexpected delays in the journey often left travelers without the resources for basic human necessities like food and medicine. It was a time when medical and other community services were largely restricted to residents. Travelers had to rely on the kindness of strangers during an arduous journey. St Louis, under the leadership of Mayor Bryan Mullanphy, struggled to help provide services to these American pioneers and new immigrants who became stranded on a journey to a new life. At his death in 1851, Mullanphy left a million dollars in his will to help aid travelers going west." The Travelers Aid movement had begun.


It is not surprising that Travelers Aid got its start with the Industrial Revolution. Mobility was at the heart of the economy as cities grew to accommodate a new workforce. By the time America reached the 20th century, Travelers Aid Societies had sprung up in major cities across the country - Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York. The programs began with a simple idea of protecting stranded people especially women and children, from those who would use, abuse or victimize them in their time of misfortune. Ensuring a safe haven was the hallmark of Travelers Aid. Although many of the Travelers Aid programs were born in communities of faith, Travelers Aid provides services regardless of age, gender or beliefs. It is the oldest, non-sectarian, social welfare organization in the United States.

The New Orleans Travelers Aid Society was founded March 18, 1908, for the specific purpose of protecting women and girls from organized vice. It was formally incorporated May 30, 1913. In 1935, the agency was recognized and charged with giving a more professional service to a limited number of residents. Since then, in order to meet the needs of changing conditions, the programs have varied.

Today, Travelers Aid  provides Crisis-Intervention counseling and support services for individuals and families and stranded travelers who may become homeless.

Services include:

  • Crisis-Intervention Counseling/Case Management
  • Job Search Assistance
  • Support Services (e.g. food, clothing, shelter, toiletries, bus token, out-of-town transportation, storage of belongings, an address to receive mail, access to phone/fax/internet, etc. 
  • Day Shelter

    Services are offered to persons regardless of race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or economic status.