Posted: Nov 10, 2010 6:52 PM by Melissa Hawkes
Updated: Nov 11, 2010 8:10 AM
Construction is wrapping-up on one of the largest homeless shelters in the state. Until now, The Welcome House operated out of a much smaller facility off Highway 13, north of Crowley.
Gilbert Padgett said, "I was an addict. I was caught up in a heavy addiction and that addiction brought me to places I never thought I'd be."
Padgett's crack addiction brought him to The Welcome House.
He said, "I stayed here for five months to regain my confidence in life and just regain....me."
The Welcome House is Reverend Roy Kibodeaux's vision. He started providing shelter for the needy 36 years ago.
Kibodeaux said, "we started back then picking up people in the parks that were traveling from California to Florida."
Now with a brand new building...it's one of the largest homeless shelters in Louisiana.
Up to twenty homeless people are turned away every month. The new 8 thousand square foot building will provide shelter for 50 more people.
"As I get older, seems like I have a stronger drive to help the needy," Kibodeaux said. "We had one that stayed here 22 years. I've got some that have been here now 17 or 18 years."
For others like Padgett....it's a temporary stay.
He said, "I'm back with my family. I have my son today...if this place hadn't been here, I dunno where I'd be."
With just a few more finishing touches, the doors of the Welcome House will be open to help what Kibodeaux says is a growing homeless population.
The Welcome House operates solely on donations. If you'd like to donate call 337-783-7066.