Jan 7, 2014 8:15 AM by Kristen Holloway
With the cold weather is upon us, shelters are open in Lafayette for those who may need a warm place to stay.
This cold snap has shelters all over Acadiana in emergency mode and to fight those frigid temperatures, shelters in Lafayette have enacted their "Freeze Plan."
As the temperature drops and the wind chill picks up, St. Joseph Shelter for Men is open for those in need of a warm bed and a hot meal.
"We've had freeze plan a number of times this year, whenever the weather drops below 35 degrees we open up our doors to any homeless male individual who is seeking shelter for the night," said Housing Director Johnathan Linzer.
Residents that spend the night are given breakfast the next day at St. Joseph's Diner and are welcome to participate in activities at the shelter.
"They sort of have the same access to services as a normal resident but just for those actual days when the freeze plan is in effect," said Linzer.
Staff at The Outreach Center for Women and Children say their freeze plan is also in full effect and they prepare for these icy temperatures every year.
Linzer says typically they see about 20 men at night during the freeze plan but they've only seen 12 the past few nights,
but with the temperature possibly creeping to a record 16 degrees today, he's says he expects to see more.
"We have extra cots, extra blankets, there's a day room that we're in at this point in time, we move back the tables and chairs and just open up this space for those sort of individuals to come in and lay down for the night," said Linzer.
The freeze plan check-in at St. Joseph Shelter for Men is between 4-7p.m. The Outreach Center for Women and Children is before 7p.m.
Check in times are to ensure a meal before nightfall and your picture I.D. is not required during the freeze plan.