BATON ROUGE, La. (BR Proud News) – St. Vincent De Paul is preparing for the possibility of high demands for its shelter.
Inside the shelter, cots sit above the floor in a overflow room. St. Vincent De Paul said, the cots are only for emergency purposes.
Around the building, staff are preparing to take more people into their shelter this year.
“If necessary, we’re in a new facility that will open up if there is a demand for getting people off the street” said St. Vincent De Paul’s President and CEO, Michael Acaldo.
As the temperatures drop, more people experiencing homelessness will be looking to shelter indoors this week.
“We anticipate that when we hit that really deep freeze, people really want to get out of the temperature and that’s when we often are overwhelmed” said Acaldo.
The shelter is trying its best to house as many people as possible, but that’s a tough challenge to meet while following Covid guidelines.
“We have basically gone down a half so in this room we’ll only have about four people and 14 in the rest of the facility. In reality, we really envisioned 36 or more in this facility, but because of Covid it really has stressed our ability to pack people in” said Acaldo.
Shelter beds are first come first serve, and as much as staff would like to help, following the rules and keeping people safe is their top priority.
“We do have to sometimes say we can’t help now that’s the exception out of the rule and when that does happen, we have to do that” said Acaldo.