Local Motel being used for non-congregate housing for local homeless

Housing for Homeless amid COVID-19
Updated: May. 25, 2020 at 8:17 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - With help from the Louisiana Balance of State Continuum of Care, the Calcasieu Parish Human Services Department is working to provide our homeless population with a safer and cleaner housing option amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s primarily geared towards those individuals who are unsheltered, which means that prior to going into this setting they were actually either living on the streets or a place not meant for human habitation," Human Services Director, Tarek Polite said.

Polite says a local motel is being used for the non-congregate housing, where residents are provided with sanitary, nutritional and supportive services.

Based on last years census, Polite says they are prepared to house 140 people. The housing is planned to last for 90 days, and in the mean time, the goal is to transition residents to permanent housing.

“One of the main things it provides is a sense of hope," Polite said. "I think it also provides the assurance of knowing people in our community truly care about them.”

Many might say no one has a bigger heart for our area’s homeless than Kelli Stawecki of Water’s Edge Gathering in Lake Charles.

Stawecki says after almost 9 years of working in outreach, this is the first time anything like this has been done.

To help with transportation Stawecki is asking for bike donations from the community. So far they’ve already received over a dozen bikes.

“My prayer is that they will take full advantage of this, I mean what an amazing blessing. And a chance to really um change their life.”

Polite says the non-congregate shelter is continuing to take residents. If you know someone who is homeless and in need of these services you can send an email to homelesscovid19@calcasieuparish.gov, or call 337-802-1092.

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