This week, local shelters are executing freeze plans; opening their doors to those who do not have beds or any protection against the quickly declining temperatures. Richard Stein, lodge manager for the Salvation Army Homeless Shelter said they will open their doors on a first come, first served basis as soon as they declare a freeze night.
"We usually wait until it gets to about 38 degrees before we call it a freeze night. We put them on mats if we have to and they'll be able to have a hot shower and eat and get a good night's rest."
At St. Joseph's Shelter for Men, they are adding cots to their common room. Sarah Rabalais, administrative coordinator for the Lafayette Catholic Service Centers, said they have 20 cots to spare, but will try to house as many as they can. Rabalais explained that rain, wind and freezing temperatures are a dangerous mix for those living in the streets.
"The population that lives on the street is already compromised health-wise. In a lot of cases, cold temperatures, the wet, the wind can only kind of increase those symptoms and we don't want people to be sick. We don't want people to go without shelter in times when it can be dangerous."
Both shelters plan to continue giving emergency shelter to those need as long as freezing and dangerous conditions persist.