Freezing temperatures make homeless life more difficult

Homeless seek shelter from cold

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Many residents in the lake area don't have a home to go to when the temperatures get as low as they will Thursday night.

The Salvation Army is available, but only for men, and it is first come first serve basis.

Abraham's tent is a place for those in need to eat a warm meal and get out of the cold when there's nowhere else to go, at least for a little while.

Just over a year ago, Ruth DeVilbiss lived in a tent in the woods. But now she's found an apartment, out of the cold where her belongings can't be taken.

"It's just a big blessing to you know not be in that situation," said DeVilbiss.

With the cold front arriving, she's thankful to have a roof over her head and not be left outside in the freezing temperatures like she was not long ago.

"We put a blanket over the door of our tent to keep the warmth in and that helped us out a lot," said DeVilbiss.

But others aren't as fortunate. Roger Richard has been homeless for seven years, and he plans to tough it out Thursday night and stay in his tent in the woods.

"It's a struggle though," said Richard. "Money wise and all that is hard to do. I pick up cans and do whatever I can to survive. And I don't have no financial help. It's a struggle."

Places like Abraham's Tent provide meals and clothes to homeless like Richard, who have nowhere else to turn.

"Oh it's wonderful," said Richard. "And I thank god that these people help."

But for tonight, Richard will return to the woods, where he's made a home, doing the best for himself that he can.

"It's not easy saying well I live in the woods and let people know that's where I live," said Richard. "And it's not very easy."

Abraham's Tent is always in need of food donations for the meals they provide. The Salvation Army is also short on blankets and towels for tonight and the cold nights to come. Donations can be dropped off at the Legion Street location of the Salvation Army.