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Local shelters are open for people seeking warmth



MONROE, La. – Wintertime can be trying for people who are displaced without a home, especially with our temperatures dropping below freezing.

The Salvation Army of Monroe and Desiard St. Shelter say they are here for anyone needing assistance during this time of cold weather and beyond.

The Salvation Army received a call from Mayor Friday Ellis offering more space to temporarily house people in the Monroe Convention Center. They are providing cots and food to those who need a warm place to stay inside.

“I’ve been doing cold weather shelters for 12 years now,” Jerry Casey said, Salvation Army of Monroe Corps Officer. “I’ve never not done one when the temperature dropped below 40 degrees. With COVID, our shelter had filled up so quickly. That I’ve got people calling me. People want to know where they can go. They want to know where they can receive some help, and I want to help them.”

The DeSiard Street Shelter is also opening its doors for people to come enjoy a hot meal out of the cold.

Both organizations value helping the less fortunate all year long.

“We’re here for the community, not just for the homeless, and I’m trying to break that stigma of the homeless community. They are a part of the community, and we are a part of theirs,” Bill Varner said, DeSiard St. Shelter Executive Director.

“For anyone who’s out there who needs a safe, clean, healthy environment… a place to come where they’ll be warm, they’ll be fed, and they’ll be cared for. Please come here to the Monroe Convention Center, and let the Salvation Army serve you,” Casey said.

The cold weather shelter at the Monroe Convention Center is open Monday night, and they are encouraging people to come indoors and stay the night.

Captain Casey says the shelter will close once the temperature at night rises above 40 degrees at night.