LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The bitter cold can be life-threatening for homeless people who have no shelter.
Community members are pitching in to try to assure all are warm and well-fed.
We were alerted to Jackets and sweaters hung on trees and bushes downtown. They had little notes attached: "I’m here to keep you warm and dry. God bless," read one note. They were put there by a man who wishes to remain anonymous.
Whereas, across town, dozens of church members and volunteers raced around, setting up 125 beds for those who will seek refuge from the bitter cold.
Homeless outreach director Kelli Stawecki says all are welcome.
“We don’t want somebody to freeze. Last year, we lost one of our homeless in a fire. He was trying to keep himself warm and he caught himself on fire and he passed away. So, we have said that we’re going to do everything that we can do and everybody else should too,” she said.
It’s a labor of love for those like Chasity Bishop, who knew she had to help.
"My heart told me to. We have to take care of our homeless," she said.
And though the emergency shelter is at Water’s Edge, other community members have pitched in. A group of ladies donated hand-stitched prayer pillows.
"So, they pray over every thread as they stitch it. So, from what we gather, these women just kind of stay in prayer so as they’re doing it, they’re just praying for the heads that will rest on these,” explained Katy Rozas, who is a volunteer at Water’s Edge.
So, besides a warm bed and good food; “We’ll have a special gift we can hand out and give. We’ll be able to give to our homeless and they’ll have a little extra dash of love to take with them when this is all done,” said Rozas.
So, here they will try to help those in need to find kindness, comfort, and to feel the love of those who care.
Water’s Edge will provide 125 beds. Those who need shelter may arrive at 4 p.m. Saturday and stay until noon Monday. Those times may be adjusted if the weather changes. Volunteers may show up at any time to see if help is needed. Water’s Edge is located at 2760 Power Centr Parkway. To see the latest on needs there, check out Kelli Tidwell Stawecki’ s Facebook page
There’s also Room in the Inn which can be reached at 337-602-8345.
The Salvation Army located at 3020 legion street dues take in an additional 15 men if the temperature gets 40 degrees or lower.
A church in Sulphur is helping those in need get a hot meal and a place to stay.
Maplewood First Baptist Church members invite the homeless to come out while they prepare a meal and an overnight place for them to keep warm.
Saturday, breakfast will be served for those staying the night-along with packed lunches and personal hygiene kits.
Those taking part could arrive starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday evening.