St. Vincent de Paul preps for crowds at shelters, dining hall
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Colder temperature means more folks turn to shelters and charities to get a hot meal and warm place to stay according to officials with St. Vincent de Paul.
They say they're making resources ready in their shelters, and are also prepping for major Thanksgiving dinner.
"Think what it would be like if you have to call outside home. That's what we try to do for people is to be a home. A home of caring and love," Michael Acaldo, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul, said.
"When weather is cold people have a tendancy to come in," Carl Taylor, night shelter supervisor at St. Vincent de Paul's Bishop Ott Men's Shelter, said. "Most people who are homeless know this place is here we typically extend a hand to everyone who comes along. "
St. Vincent de Paul officials say lots of people will turn to them for a spot to spend the night as temperatures continue to drop.
"We're continuing to see a high demand for our shelters especially with men, which represents the largest segment of the homeless population," Acaldo said.
Officials say a lot of people who would normally chose not to stay to in the shelter might to look to St. Vincent de Paul for help Wednesday night because it's expected to get so cold.
"No one needs to be out there in the cold unfortunately we can't be everything to everybody, but we have bent far and wide bent over completely to try and meet the needs," Taylor said.
The cold weather could also mean more people coming to fill up at the St. Vincent de Paul dining room for Thanksgiving Thursday.
"Normally if it's a beautiful day people will go visiting, and they'll have other sources (for food)," Denise Terrance, Director of St. Vincent de Paul's dining room, said. "With it being cold a lot of people like to just keep to themselves and shelter, so they'll come in get a hot meal and go back home."
Officials say hundreds of people will pack the place, and that's why they got started on the big meal on Monday.
Diners will get a complete traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey and the fixings.
"It just gives you a joy to know that because of a place like St. Vincent de Paul you don't have to wonder if somebody is hungry," Terrance said. "Tomorrow it's all you can eat so we are guaranteed that when they leave tomorrow they'll be filled from head to toe with food."