BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD)- As temperatures outside drop, it will create unfavorable conditions for those facing homelessness. Resources provided by The Salvation Army are helping to get people off the streets and in a warm bed for the night.
“It’s cold right now just standing here talking let alone when it gets to be night, and the moisture comes, and the rain comes, and the ice comes, it’s just not safe, it’s deadly,” said Major Donald Tekautz of The Salvation Army.
With a winter weather advisory in place, City-Parish leaders are advising you to protect pipes, plants, pets, and most importantly, people. Local shelters are increasing their bed count to meet the need of those on the streets.
Tekautz said it isn’t glamorous, but it’s a warm and safe substitution for the brutal conditions overnight.
“We have 60 beds every night, they’re typically full, we’ll add 15 more, so they’ll get a warm meal tonight, a comfortable bed, a shower, some clean clothes if they need it, breakfast in the morning, they’ll be able to stay tomorrow,” said Tekautz
Like most shelters, beds here are secured on a first come first serve basis. Tekautz said if anyone has to be turned away they are provided other options for shelter.
“It’s certainly not a battle we fight on our own, we try to be team players,” said Tekautz.
St. Vincent de Paul is another option for those seeking shelter from the cold. President Michael Acaldo said although they are being met with challenges, they plan to fill over 100 beds. Like the Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul hopes they won’t have to turn anyone away.
“Because of COVID and these masks we are not able to expand like we would like to, but we are opening up additional beds to respond to the local need,” said Acaldo. “I think Major Donald and myself, we would both tell you, that if there was no COVID we could pretty much make sure that anybody that wanted to be off the street, would get off the street.”