Salvation Army pulls out all the stops to keep the homeless warm

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - By now, you've probably noticed that it's pretty cold outside; well, cold for Louisiana that is.

Source: KALB

With temperatures getting below freezing most nights this week, a warm place to sleep will be crucial. That's where different organizations in Central Louisiana step up to help.

One organization in particular is assuring that James Wilson is taken care of.

"I’d probably be under a tree somewhere,” expressed Wilson. “Or out in the cold, freezing, trying to find warmth somewhere. I don't have to worry about that here."

He’s referring to the Salvation Army in Alexandria. The place he's been staying after he lost his job, and his home.

"Ever since September they've been working with me,” said Wilson. “Trying to get me back on my feet, and back into employment.”

Raynell Goff found himself in a similar situation.

"I struck out as far as work,” explained Goff. “And I needed to get in the program to get my life back together."

He also turned to the Salvation Army.

"They got me out of the cold, fed me,” said Goff. “It's just a blessing."

The Salvation Army helps out the homeless everyday through two meals, as well as a housing program. But Alexandria Salvation Army Corps officer Major Glenn Riggs said they pull out all the stops when there's cold weather.

"It's not unusual to seek out our shield,” said Major Riggs. “That shield indicates that there are services available to the community. We make sure that anybody who wants to stay is welcome to stay. Put a little extra food on at dinner time. Make sure the cots are going to be there with extra linens. Extra everything."

He said over the last few weeks they've seen a nearly 30 percent increase in people staying the night, and a 20 percent increase in the day shelter. Sure, it's more work, but he said it's worth it.

"They have a tremendous amount of things to overcome,” said Major Riggs. “So any way that we can help, we're here to help."

And it's that effort that's getting them back on their feet, no matter the weather.

"It's warm, that's the main thing," said Goff.

"I really appreciate it,” said Wilson. “Because like I said, it's really cold out there."

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