LAFAYETTE, LA -- Homelessness has increased since the beginning of the pandemic with an estimate of 800 people without homes across Acadiana.
Organizations are working together to provide homeless people with warm shelter. Ben Broussard with Catholic Charities says they have been providing needs for the homeless for 50 years but now with the pandemic, it’s been hard.
“Among various organizations have found shelter in hotel rooms just because of the safety of being in that non-congregate setting where you have your own room and your own bathroom,” Broussard said.
Leigh Rachal, executive director of Arch Sharehouse, says there are concerns from mothers that worry about where their children are going to sleep. "We have utilized since the covid pandemic began, about 20 different hotels to help house people who are unsheltered. Right now we are utilizing about nine (shelters) across the eight parish region, there is almost one in every parish,” Rachal said
She added that right now they're prioritizing getting shelter during nights where temperatures are near freezing. “We are sheltering about 300 people on any given night for the freezes and about an average of 25 dollars a person, it adds up really quickly between 6 and 7 thousand dollars a night.”
While providing shelter for the homeless, they’ve also been able to ensure covid-19 numbers are low by providing items such as surgical masks and other items that are recommended by CDC guidelines to help stop the spread of the virus.
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