LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Plans to open Lake Charles very first hygiene center for the homeless were put on hold recently after some dispute about its potential location.
However, that’s not stopping the owner, Bob Richard as he’s now taking a new approach to a long time vision.
“I’ve been working one-on-one with the homeless for over 20 years, just helping them on the streets where I find them," said Richard. “More recently I had a vision that God gave me to open a center where the homeless could come and get their personal hygiene needs met.”
Earlier this year plans to open the Beacon Center came to a halt when residents in the Oak Park community voiced their opposition to the location.
“We prepared it but I didn’t get in the neighborhood enough to talk to the people and before we got it open the neighborhood felt like it was not the correct place for this type of center,” he said.
Richard says this one stumbling block isn’t taking him away from his mission and vision for the city of Lake Charles. With 20 years of experience with helping the homeless, he’s now found another way to keep that vision alive.
“We’ve rented a room at a local motel and we pick up the homeless at different locations around town, bring them here and give them a free shower, we also take their clothes that they bring and bring them to the laundromat and wash it for them," according to Richard.
It’s services like these that those going through a rough time like Mary L’Heureux consider a blessing.
“Being without a shower for God knows how long..it’s torture so this is truly a blessing,” said L’Heureux.
As for the future, Bob says he’ll more than likely have to build the Beacon Center from the ground up and that will definitely take some time but for now this is a small start in the right direction.
“We’re going to start small and just grow as we go and it’ll come when it comes," he said. “We have to do something, everybody can do something and this is what we can do.”
In addition to those services, the Beacon Center is also offering free haircuts to the homeless every Monday at local shelters. Richard says they could still use volunteers on Wednesdays when they provide laundry and shower services.
To find out how you can help, click HERE.
The Beacon Center- Homeless Hygiene Center
- P.O. Box 1389 Lake Charles, La 70602
- 337.930.2633 - Office