Demand exceeds supply for free motel rooms

Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – More than 300 hotel rooms were paid for this weekend to house more than 700 people.

Unfortunately, this does not provide shelter for everyone who has sought help from the United Way. United Way has partnered with the Calcasieu Police Jury and the City of Lake Charles.

A number of groups and organizations have made valiant efforts to get people out of the cold.

Still, United Way had over 400 applications that they couldn’t accommodate at the last word.

And then the challenge became feeding them.

At the Tent of Abraham, the regulars came to have a hot meal at noon. Those who received a motel room to protect themselves from the cold are grateful to those who made this possible.

One is Jordan Sturlese, a guest at a nearby motel.

“It means a lot. It’s ok, it’s ok. Get some relief until I get back on my feet. I could do something myself every time I get back on my feet. I’ll volunteering and doing certain things because I know what it’s like,” Sturlese said.

Journalist: “Are you considering paying it back?” Sturlese: “Yeah.

United Way of Southwest Louisiana provided lunch for people in motels today and Catholic Charities provided dinner.

The massive undertaking continues on Saturday, as those helped were granted a three-night stay.

Sister Miriam MacLean and the volunteers were busy making food bags for much of the day.

“Everyone is doing their best and getting involved where they can, so I’m grateful for the resilience of Southwest Louisiana and the people’s loyalty to meeting needs, so this is a great gift. “said Sister.

At Water’s Edge Church, they continue their efforts as resources permit. Jean Kamla of First Methodist brought his church’s donation for the rooms. She hopes everyone involved can meet for some sort of debriefing.

“I think if we all come to the table together, the churches, all the community organizations that have homeless ministry in their hearts, we can do bigger and better things for these people,” Kalma said.

Centraide director Denise Durel also says she would like to have a meeting to see what worked and what didn’t.

To see if volunteers or donations of supplies are needed this weekend, check the Facebook pages of the different groups: United Way of SWLA and Catholic Charities.

Copyright 2022 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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