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Cenla agencies working to create cold weather shelter

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 1:19 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2021 at 5:36 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - With this week’s freezing temperatures, many homeless people in Alexandria are looking for a place to escape from the cold.

Because of the pandemic, the Salvation Army hasn’t been able to open as a cold weather shelter.

The Central Louisiana Homeless Coalition, along with the Salvation Army and other partner agencies, are working to create a solution.

They’re hoping to pair up with a local church that’s willing to open as a temporary shelter. The coalition is also working on providing cold weather hotel vouchers for people in need.

Central Louisiana Homeless Coalition Executive Director Joseph Buzzetta told KALB that one big concern is finding a long-term solution. That’s because the agency doesn’t have enough funds to operate a shelter.

Buzzetta said they’d like to partner with organizations who already have those services in place, and added that keeping the homeless population out of the cold is crucial during this time of year.

“Cold weather, not to be dramatic, but it is a question of life or death for our homeless community. It’s a significant health risk and opening up cold weather shelters really is a question of saving people’s lives.”

Central Louisiana Homeless Coalition Executive Director Joseph Buzzetta

The coalition is also working on transitioning people into long-term housing.

The office on Jackson Street is taking any cold weather donations at this time. They’re looking for items such as blankets, gloves, hand warmers and sleeping bags.

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