BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Homelessness may not be something you often think about but for some Baton Rouge families, it is a harsh reality. One local organization though is poised to offer more options for those in need.
Wet weather early Sunday morning cannot wash out the excitement building at St. Vincent De Paul.
Staff there have raised the $900,000 necessary and are set to break ground on an addition to the shelter within the next two months, creating more opportunities to aid the growing homeless population in Baton Rouge.
"It's going to be a great thing for our community, a great thing for women and children, great thing for anyone who finds themselves homeless," said Michael Acaldo, president of the St. Vincent DePaul charities.
The facility will tack on a brand new wing located near the intersection of St. Vincent DePaul Place and Convention Street, expanding the 8,000 square foot building to 18,000 square feet. The facility's capacity will double, expanding from 36 available beds to more than 70 beds.
"We're really excited about being at a point that we'll be able to instead of saying 'hey all our beds are filled, we can't take you or your children', we'll be able to say 'yes, we can take you'."
The money was raised in a two-year period, all thanks to donations and charitable contributions. Acaldo said the Baton Rouge community answered the call in a major way.
"No doubt about it, people have stepped up to the plate whether it was a Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation or private donors that wanted to see this make a difference," he said.
Acaldo hope this difference will be felt by those who need it most.
"This will enable us to be there whether it's a rainy day like today or a cold night," he added. "We'll be able to be there to get people off the streets and into the care they truly need and deserve."
Construction is expected to take about 10 months after the facility breaks ground on the new addition.
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