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Construction for homeless shelter approved in Lake Charles

Published: May. 10, 2021 at 10:02 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Catholic Charities of Southwest Louisiana proposed the construction of the Saint Joseph Refuge Shelter for Men at the Lake Charles city planning and zoning meeting.

The shelter will be located on the corner of 6th Avenue and Third Street. Many oppose the build, as they are worried about the problems it will bring to their neighborhood.

“We’ve got children catching the bus. We’ve got women who are alone. We are just concerned about the safety issue,” Jacqeline Shelton said.

“The theft that would be advancing in the neighborhood with all the people that is coming in,” Lester Rubit said.

Advocate for her neighborhood Jacqueline Shelton said her neighborhood has concerns about safety, property value and foot traffic.

“They need to place it somewhere where it is more commercial, where you have more for traffic and where you have more police presence. We just don’t feel safe,” Shelton said.

Others hope that residents in the neighborhood will show empathy to the project and the people it will service.

“I think that folks should be for this, even in their community. Instead of pushing against it, maybe look for solutions and compromises for how they could feel comfortable with having something like this in their community,” Dominique Darbonne said.

Darbonne, with the Vessel Project, said the need for homeless shelters is growing, but the demand has not been met.

“We need a designated shelter where homeless folks can go where they can receive a night off the street and receive the services they desperately need,” Darbonne said.

Construction for the shelter was approved. All parties involved agree that homelessness is a problem in the area and deserves a resolution.

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