United Way and partners provided 623 individuals with shelter last weekend

Aetna Better Health of Louisiana provided lunch for all shelter residents.
Aetna Better Health of Louisiana provided lunch for all shelter residents.(United Way of Southwest Louisiana)
Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 4:33 PM CST
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The following information has been provided by United Way of Southwest Louisiana:

LAKE CHARLES, La. – United Way of Southwest Louisiana, the City of Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury and St. Michael’s All Angels Episcopal Church provided 623 local residents with shelter the weekend of January 21.

“We were overwhelmed with applications in a 24 hour period,” explains Denise Durel, president and CEO for United Way of Southwest Louisiana. “We received 672 requests and a majority of them are local families still living in poor conditions following Hurricane Laura.”

Individuals were given a choice of Sulphur or Lake Charles and were sheltered in ten different local hotels with vacancies. In total, 238 rooms were rented with a total of 659 nights paid for by the four partners.

“St. Michael’s called after seeing what we were trying to do and offered to join us,” says Durel. “Our team of caseworkers quickly got to work filling more rooms once we located them. It was a moving experience for all of us.”

“Our two kids (ages 5 & 6) are so grateful for the warm room, beds, hot water for baths, and the meals that were provided during our stay. Even our 6-month-old seemed a little less stressed. It was a big relief for all 5 of us,” says Heather, a guest that received the help.

Families at each hotel were provided three meals each day by a team including United Way of Southwest Louisiana, Catholic Charities of SWLA and Aetna Better Health of Louisiana. A total of 3,728 meals were served over that weekend.

To learn more about United Way of Southwest Louisiana’s other area initiatives to improve the lives of everyone in the community over the long-term, visit unitedwayswla.org or follow them on social media.

Copyright 2022 United Way of Southwest Louisiana. All rights reserved.