Shelters expand hours ahead of freezing temps
BATON ROUGE - Bitter cold temperatures are on the way and for many that means making sure pipes, plants and pets are protected. But, for others it's a danger of life on the streets.
News Two's Alexa Vogue spoke with community leaders, who say they're doing everything they can to help the most vulnerable avoid the shivering sting of winter.
"We have 20 beds available," said Captain Brett Meredith, with The Salvation Army. "But then we'll also open up, and have cots and the floors available we'll put mattresses down so that we can get as many people housed as possible we will turn no one away."
During the cold months, The Salvation Army extends their hours to ensure no one is left outside. Explaining that on the coldest nights they will take in double or triple the number of people they usually have, staying open from 2 p.m. until 9 a.m.
"We'll go from 31 beds to 62 in a snap," said St. Vincent De Paul CEO and Present, Michael Acaldo. "That means that whether it's cold weather or a hurricane, we're able to respond to the needs of people in the community."
St. Vincent De Paul, also sees more people during freezing temps.
"We're very very prepared to open our hearts to arms to people," Acaldo said. "Especially when it's cold."
They explain their mission is to help and say beds are available every night as long as the person wants to work toward a better future. The Salvation Army and St. Vincent De Paul give out more clothing during the winter months. If you want to donate, coats, scarves, blankets and socks are needed.