Cold weather fills Baton Rouge homeless shelter to capacity

Cold weather fills Baton Rouge homeless shelter to capacity

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A hot meal was a very welcomed sight to a couple hundred people coming in from the cold Sunday morning at St. Vincent de Paul.

"They treat you like a king, kings and queens, they really do," said Patrick Christopher.

Christoper was one of over 60 men who slept at the shelter Saturday night. Escaping freezing temperatures, his other, colder option was sleeping outside.

"We all have to carry on," said Christopher. "It's just like the people who are millionaires and everything they have to do. We have to keep going."

Management says the shelter was filled to capacity overnight Saturday into Sunday for men, women and children. That's 62 beds for men, 36 for women, and eight cribs for small kids.

"We got emails and calls from women who didn't have a place to stay or the place they were staying maybe didn't have heat, not fit for human habitation," said Michael Acaldo, President/CEO of St. Vincent de Paul Charities. "Our services are so critical especially when the temperatures d rop."

Acaldo says after being very busy the shelter can now recuperate with an expected warmer week ahead.

Volunteers now have time to take a breath and the shelter will save money on it's heating bill.

However, leaders say it's not time to get complacent.

"We need to be ready because you never know when it could be cold for days in a row and that's what stresses us," said Acaldo.

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