Jan 10, 2011 10:36 PM by Maddie Garrett

Outreach Center in Emergency Mode for Cold Weather

When the temperature drops, it means even tougher times for the homeless and the organizations trying to help them. The Acadiana Outreach Center has enacted it's Freeze Plan for this week, meaning it's giving out emergency blankets and coats. But workers there say they're running out of supplies for the cold weather.

Charles Williams has been homeless since Hurricane Katrina. He sleeps outside every night not far from the Outreach Center.

"I sleep out there... with two blankets and two sleeping bags,' said Williams.

He was able to get those items from the Acadiana Outreach Center, which is working over time now that the winter weather has set in.

"Not everybody has a warm place to go so we do see a big increase in need," said Jill Meaux, Director of Community Relations at the Outreach Center.

The Center is giving out emergency blankets, coats, shoes and other winter items as more and more people come in looking for help.

"In extreme situations like we're having right now, where it's just bitterly cold out, people come to our Recovery Action Center and they don't have a coat on or they don't have a hat, it's heartbreaking," said Meaux.

The Center relies on donations to help people stay warm in the winter, and right now they're running short.

"All I ask people to do is keep on donating to the Outreach Center and try and help people as much as they can," asked Williams.

Here are some of the items they need:
Space Heaters
Hand Warmers

You bring donations to the Outreach Center, at 125 S. Buchanan Street, Lafayette, from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday. The Center also accepts monetary donations. For more information, call (337) 237-7618 or email

Women and children can find safe accommodations at the Lighthouse Shelter, just call (337) 289-9141. Unaccompanied men can contact the Salvation Army or St. Joseph's Shelter for Men for assistance.



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