LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Catholic Charities of Southwest Louisiana is seeking approval of the construction of an emergency shelter.

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The property under consideration for the shelter is located at 1017 Sixth Ave in Lake Charles.

The growing need of an emergency shelter in the area sparked an initiative. Catholic Charities, along with a generous donor, are working towards building a shelter that will offer temporary housing for people in need.

After years of debate, and an influx of homelessness following natural disaster, Saint Joseph Refuge Shelter for Men will be under construction, if zoning is approved.

“The timing really all came together with generous people, availability and also the need,” said Director of Catholic Charities of Southwest Louisiana, Sister Miriam MacLean.

The shelter will provide overnight lodging to roughly 40 to 50 homeless, providing meals, laundry and other crucial services including employment, education and medical treatment.

“We will get them back into stable living, but also a stable life where they can support themselves and be successful,” MacLean said.

If the plan is approved in next months planning and zoning meeting, the shelter will need continuous funding for both construction, as well as operational needs.

“We are looking to start a fund for that,” MacLean said. “We have been edified and grateful for the support from the people of Southwest Louisiana.”

We spoke with some living and working in the area. One property owner said he was concerned about his home’s resale value if there was a shelter nearby, while others were more supportive.

Catholic Charities hopes that the proposal will gain support from the community

“We say not only to individual people, but to the community, that it will be a well-cared for building, a well-cared for piece of land, and we hope to be good neighbors to everybody,” MacLean said.

The matter will be discussed at the next Planning and Zoning meeting on May 10 at 5:30 p.m.

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A community information and hearing session will be held at Saint Henry’s Catholic Church, located at 1021 8th Ave., on Tuesday, May 4 at 6:30 p.m.

Questions or comments may also be sent to saintjosephrefuge






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