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United Way of Southwest Louisiana announces new initiative to combat homelessness

Updated: Apr. 2, 2019 at 6:28 PM CDT
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SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) -Housing for the homeless is an issue that continues to plague Southwest Louisiana. But now the city is taking new steps to help.

Homeless in the community feel there is a lack of support when it comes to shelters catered to their needs.

This problem has prompted a new city-wide effort. It’s called “The Path Home” initiative. The United Way says it will bring together several organizations like Water’s Edge and The Salvation Army that aid the homeless.

CEO of United Way, Denise Durel says that a collaboration will allow the city to tackle the problem head on. The City partnered with the Lake Charles Police Department, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, and Calcasieu Parish Sherriff’s Office.

The focus will start with the expansion of the Salvation Army and creating a homeless shelter catered to families. Something Lake Charles lacks.

“We actually have been transporting people from here to Crowley just because that’s the closest family shelter that we have in Southwest Louisiana," Durel said. “As a mother myself I wouldn’t want to be sheltered in one place and my son to be sheltered across town with people I don’t know. I mean that reality just isn’t going to happen.”

In order to carry out these plans the effort needs money. The money raised will then be given to the project that needs the most attention.

“It’s all dependent if we’re able to raise the funds and be able to support them in that effort,” Durel said. "One hundred percent of all those dollars raised for the initiative are going to stay right her in Southwest Louisiana to help address our homeless.”

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