Homeless shelters fill up as another cold snap hits area - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Homeless shelters fill up as another cold snap hits area

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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

More than 300 people were lined up at St. Vincent de Paul Tuesday afternoon, for a hot meal. Workers say they were greeted with several 'Thank-You's' from people glad to have a place to sit and eat. Now, shelter workers are concerned where those people will sleep.

"I'm a New Yorker, so I'm used to this," said Cedric Stephens.

Stephens says while he is used to weather, he is not chancing things by sleeping outside. For the last three weeks, he has stayed at the Bishop Ott Men's Shelter. Stephens says he was robbed when he came to Baton Rouge and is now trying to get back on his feet. He says a lot of homeless will stay on the street, when night comes, but it's not necessary.

"When it drops below 40 any night, and especially tonight, we're going to be open and available for people who need a place to stay," said Michael Acaldo, Director of St. Vincent de Paul.

Acaldo says they've seen an increase in the homeless male population. But thanks to a recent grant, they've been able to double the number of beds at the shelter.

"We used to only have 30 beds for the men's shelter. Now we have 62. If we have to, we can also pull out cots," Acaldo said.

Shelter for the homeless is one are Mayor Kip Holden expressed concern over during an earlier press conference

"Shelter is lacking a lot ... got to work at it diligently because we can't have people out there possibly dying, freezing when you have cold weather like this," Holden said.

During that press conference, city officials gave this overview of the shelter situation for the homeless"

Bishop Ott is full and not accepting anyone Tuesday night through Wednesday.

Living Waters, located at 4156 West Brookstown Drive, has 19 beds available.

Queen of Peace is full.

Salvation Army, located at 7361 Airline Highway has 16 beds available and may accept more on a first come first served basis. Intake is at 3 p.m. Tuesday night's stay is free.

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