Central Louisiana Homeless Coalition prepares for arctic blast

RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - An arctic blast is headed towards Central Louisiana. Temperature predictions for Monday are in the low 30s, accompanied by rain. The Central Louisiana Homeless Coalition called it a dangerous combination and is trying to get ahead of the chill with an emergency outreach night.

They are asking for tarps, blankets, sleeping bags, knit hats, gloves and hand warmers.

Community members also came together at the Grand Tire Auto Show to raise money for the organization on Saturday. Car entry fees went towards the coalition. Organizers predicted they raised around $2,000.

"We saw the need with the homeless coalition," said Grand Tire Automotive managing partner James Greer. "They have other things they need money for that is not covered by grants. So, we wanted to help them out. I like to help out local charities."

There will also be a sock drive next weekend at Gator's Bar and Grill in Pineville. The Coalition's Executive Director Joseph Buzzetta said socks are a simple item, but an important key to warmth for the homeless as we get closer to winter.

"Especially in Louisiana, whenever it rains it seems like it never gets dry," Buzzetta said. "So, a lot of times socks are one time use items. We have a resource center they can come and do laundry, but over the weekend some days they can't make it. Sometimes the can't reuse those socks."

There are multiple ways the community can help out on Monday:

Outreach care kit creators can meet at the coalition on Jackson Street Monday at 2 p.m. Volunteers will help make as many bags as possible.

Outreach volunteers will help distribute the bags. Any volunteers who have not attended a coalition orientations should report to the center at 9:15 p.m. Volunteers with orientation training can arrive at 9:45 p.m.

If you would like to volunteer, or have any questions about any part of the event, email the coalition's director at JosephB@cenlahomeless.org. Visit the attached link for the coalition's original post.