More than 155 Zachary residents attended an informational meeting hosted by the Zachary Men’s Club on May 19.

Several speakers discussed basic needs assistance and housing programs.

According to Men’s Club President Floyd Pelichet, the turnout was three times the amount of residents expected.

“We thought about 40 people would show up and told our speakers to plan for that many in terms of handing out information packets,” Pelichet said. “We underestimated the importance of the information shared. It was a great turnout.”

Pelichet says he has visited each speaker since the meeting to obtain more packets, which are available at the Men’s Club, 5746 Rollins Road.

Four people spoke at the meeting, including John Audibert, a USDA housing specialist, who gave an overview of available home repair loans and grants.

Irby Hornsby, of the Division of Human Health and Services, spoke about several programs, including the commodity food program, income tax service and weatherization assistance for homes, CSBG Emergency Assistance for rent, utilities and medicine, Emergency Food Pantry, FEMA Emergency Rent and Mortgage Assistance, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, the Ryan White Care Act and the Solid Waste Fee Increase Waiver Program.

Mayor David Amrhein encouraged residents to take advantage of the programs.

Firefighters from the Zachary Fire Department also attended to promote their smoke detector program for the elderly. Every homeowner in Zachary is eligible to receive two free smoke detectors, installed at no charge by the ZFD. For details about the smoke detectors, call (225) 654-0026.

Pelichet said the Zachary Men’s Club has been serving the Zachary community for nearly 60 years.