BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - As temperatures continue to tumble overnight, leaders at St. Vincent de Paul say they are filling up fast and need your help to help others.
"This facility will be full. Our women and children's facility is already full," said Michael Acaldo, president and CEO of the organization. "We don't have any options."
The men's shelter holds 62 beds and Acaldo says they have already got cots on standby to stretch the space even more. The goal is to provide as many spaces as possible for folks to escape the bitter cold. "We really don't want to turn anyone away," said Acaldo.
The shelter has long been known for servicing an often overlooked section of the Baton Rouge area. They are working to fill whatever needs exist, but they now have a need of their own: donations.
"We need men's coats, men's jackets, sweatpants, and sweat clothes, just things that are keeping people warm," said Acaldo.
Acaldo hopes those in the community will step in to fill the need. "We're encouraging everyone to say how they can help and how they can make the community a better place," Acaldo added.
It's a call to action Rhonda Altazin with Travail 6:33 is taking to heart. "It's completely frigid and unbelievably cold," said Altazin. "I mean, people can die out here."
She spent the day hand delivering hats, blankets, and something perhaps even better. "We're handing out blankets, hats, and gloves and we're handing out Jesus to all the people that will listen," said Altazin.
She say many folks living on the streets need that positive message. She believes many of them are often forgotten and misunderstood, but may have just fallen on hard times. "The people are hurting," she said. "They're broken and they've been through so much trauma. They're out here because of those things."
Many of them may not have chosen this set of circumstances, but she says people in our community can choose compassion. "As a community, it's all of our responsibility to help take care and help put people back together," said Altazin.
Anyone interested in donating items to support the effort can drop them off at any of the area St. Vincent de Paul locations. And for more holiday opportunities to donate, click here.