The Salvation Army of Lafayette will close its 212 6th Street men's shelter on Thursday, June 4, 2020.
Officials say the shelter was scheduled to close March 28, but the closure was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Salvation Army says they have worked closely with Acadiana Regional Coalition on Homelessness and Housing (ARCH) to ensure that all residents are provided with safe shelter before the shelter's closure.
"We've really enjoyed the relationship we've had with The Salvation Army. They've been an integral part of the care in homeless services," Leigh Rachal, Executive Director of ARCH said.
The condition of the building, according to a release, is the reason for the closure. They do expect to be able to reopen the shelter at some point in the future.
"The decision to close a Salvation Army facility or service is never an easy one. This decision was weighed out carefully over time. It became apparent that the shelter's closure is necessary because the building's condition does not meet the standards of a Salvation Army shelter. Being trustworthy stewards of the public, the support we receive is something that The Salvation Army takes very seriously. We want to reopen the shelter at some point but will not be able to, due to a lack of funding. The Salvation Army is eager for the possibility of reopening the shelter if we can secure adequate funding for maintenance and operations. For now, other shelters are operating in the area to serve the homeless housing needs," said Captain Mark Hunter, The Salvation Army Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi Divisional Secretary for Business.
The Lafayette Corps' kitchen will remain open and serve meals daily to the community. Social services will also remain available to the public.
The Salvation Army says that they expect new leadership to arrive at the Lafayette Corps later this month. The new officer will assist with the plans for the development and improvement of the Lafayette location.
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