United Way of Southwest Louisiana secured hotel rooms for hurricane victims and the homeless this week, saving nearly 700 individual families in need of a warm place for the frigid weather to come.
“We are housing 634 people tonight at nine local hotels,” said Denise Durel, president and CEO of United Way of Southwest Louisiana. “I am devastated by the 434 community members who requested a room and we were unable to meet the need.”
The agency provides breakfast, snacks and some lunches, with the partners providing the rest. Catholic Charities of SWLA and AETNA Better Health of La also provide meals for customers. The Louisiana National Guard provides bottled water to customers at several locations.
United Way of Southwest Louisiana provided rooms at Water’s Edge for its homeless program.
“We are aware of the many people who need help during these winter storms,” Durel said. “Our mission is long-term impact, but we always act quickly in an emergency to make sure no one suffers. We also hope that we can help some of these people address the root causes of their homelessness and move them forward in their lives. »
As of Thursday night, the team provided 455 people with rooms at seven hotels, but a donation from St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church allowed that number to increase to 634 people at nine area hotels or motels.