Shelters at maximum capacity Tuesday - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Shelters at maximum capacity Tuesday

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

With the freezing temperatures outside, many people choose to stay indoors, but for some, that's not always an option.

Many homeless shelters in the Lake Area say they're at maximum capacity.

James Zabel has been a resident here for almost a decade. He's now assistant manager of The Lord's Place, a shelter for men.

"The men that we have here now are men who really have no place else to go. That's what happens sometimes. They come out of prison, and they don't have any place to go, so we take them in. Some of them stay, and it's a transitional type place," explained Zabel.

And for many staying here, it's a place they're grateful for, especially in these bitter cold conditions.

"It's very cold outside; it's freezing. It's very good to be able to have a roof over my head, to find some warmth, a bed to lay in, a blanket to cover my myself, some clothes to wear, which are mostly donated," said Brian Sapia, one of the men staying at The Lord's Place.

Zabel says normally they can only house 26 people. Right now, they're at maximum capacity. However, turning away men in these weather conditions isn't an option.

"But since it's so cold right now, we can bring people in, for a day or two, to get them out of the cold and get them something to eat, like the Salvation Army does," said Zabel.

As you can imagine, feeding 26 men twice a day can get expensive, and when you rely on donations to run a shelter, the list of things needed is always growing.

Zabel says they need things like, "blankets and towels, laundry soaps, stuff like that, so the men can do their laundry and cleaning supplies."

And while it may not be a perfect shelter, those staying the night say it's a rare thing these days to find such generous people.

"They're a place that they open their arms; they provide for people. They help people, like in my situation. There's not too many people in the city that does that," said Lucius Barker, another man utilizing the shelter.

In addition to The Lord's Place, officials from Potter's House and the Salvation Army all say they're pretty much filled to maximum capacity, but they continue to allow people to come in and either eat a hot meal or get out of the cold.

For information on The Lord's Place: http://www.lordsplace.faithweb.com/

For information on Potter's House: http://pottershouse1.webs.com/

For information on the Lake Charles Salvation Army: http://www.uss.salvationarmy.org/uss/www_uss_lakecharles.nsf/

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