BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)–The Arctic blast is expected to hit the capital region within the next few days, and local homeless shelters are preparing for an influx of people in need.
Baton Rouge homeless shelters told BRProud they’re expecting to be at max capacity for a total of four days during the freeze.
Salvation Army Program Director Michael McGee said, “When they’re out in the open in this type of cold … it could be deadly.”
Low temperatures are on the way, which means people with no place to go will be in search of safety from the elements at local shelters.
McGee said, “Once we know what the weather is going to be like and if it’s cold, they’re allowed to stay all day until the next day.”
Good Samaritan Open Air Ministries Pastor Joseph Moore said that before weather conditions deteriorate, he’s determined to get as many people off the street as possible.
“I’ll pick up some and bring them to shelters like St. Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army while I’m leaving or going to work so they have a warm place to be,” Moore explained.
He and others put together food bags and handed out warm clothing all day.
Moore said, “Some of the items we get from the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank are canned goods and crackers. We also have these skullcaps that the ladies knit that we give out.”
McGee said preparations are already underway.
“We’ve added more cots, our beds, so that we can prepare for the influx of personnel that’s going to be coming through,” he said. “We’ve also increased our food capacity to make sure that everyone is fed, and they have somewhere safe to be.”
The Salvation Army will be able to house up to 75 people.
“Right now, we’ll need water. Water is something that we’re going to need in our shelters to help out for the increase,” said McGee.
“It humbles you to go out and to, you know, to help somebody who’s going through a little something right now. And all of us, about a half a paycheck away from the same situation,” added Moore.
Places like The Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul need donations.
To donate to The Salvation Army click here.
St. Vincent de Paul said in a statement:
“Cold temperatures always put extra stress on the limited resources and volunteers of our small non-profit. Individuals interested in assisting the homeless can do so by supporting current shelter needs. We currently need: men, women and children’s underwear; rain gear (ponchos and umbrellas); knit caps; gloves; scarves; reading glasses (all strengths).”
To donate to St. Vincent de Paul click here.