Local homeless shelters fill up during cold nights

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - 10:47am

This week's temperatures are some of the lowest that the Ark-La-Tex has felt this Winter causing people on the streets to seek warm shelters for the night.

With beds claimed, cots out and food being served, The Salvation Army is seeing an increase in residents trying to get out of the frigid weather.  The Salvation Army Director of Development K.C. Kilpatrick-Stone told us that they have seen an extra 30-40 people that are staying on cots.  That number is in addition to their regular 115 people that stay in beds.

But extra people means extra supplies must be available to serve all of the men, women and children that need the help.  "When someone walks in, they usually only have the bag on their back," Kilpatrick-Stone explained.  She added that The Salvation Army will provide towels, blankets, sheets, toiletries and clothes.  "We can only give them what we have, and what we have is from community donations."

With necessities starting to dwindle, Salvation Army resident and volunteer, Patrick 'Shorty' Turpitt, says that donations are essential.  "Every once in a while you get someone with just a shirt on their back.  We try to get as many clothes as we can donated to them," he told us.

As beds continue to fill up at The Salvation Army and in shelters around the city, coat donations are especially needed to help keep residents warm once they leave the shelters.  Kilpatrick-Stone told us that The Salvation Army is especially lacking coats for men.  "Larger sizes, we are limited on, but we serve women, children and men."

The three largest homeless shelters in the area include Rescue Mission, Providence House and The Salvation Army.  They provide about 500 beds total for the homeless, so every little donation helps during the extreme cold.  The Salvation Army has been a shelter in Shreveport since 1927.  Kilpatrick-Stone said, "we're here to serve the need, and we do that through the community's help."

Donations for The Salvation Army in Shreveport can be dropped off at The Salvation Army shelter at 200 East Stoner Avenue.

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