The Hawkeye

Homeless shelter in need of supplies

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The DeSiard Street Shelter continues to provide its services to the homeless community in Northeast Louisiana, and now, it needs more help with winter approaching.
The shelter had been providing overnight stay services to homeless people after the Salvation Army closed about 14 months ago. There were speculations last March that the shelter could stop its overnight housing services due to lack of funds. However, all the collective effort from the churches, people and the community is helping the shelter. As a result, it has run smoothly.
DeSiard Street Shelter has been serving the community for the past 40 years. It has provided day time-shelter and two meals, lunch and dinner, to the homeless. The shelter is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. DeSiard stepped up when the Salvation Army, which provides night-time shelter, closed.
“We are happy that the Salvation Army is back. It will take care of overnight services now, and we will continue to provide day-time shelter, breakfast, lunch and dinner to the people,” said Billy Varner, the director of the Desiard Street Shelter.
Desiard Street Shelter do not have screening process for the homeless. It helps whoever shows up at their door. They help get documents like social security cards, birth certificates and medical help, so that homeless people can get the services provided by the state and federal government. They also conduct classes for skill learning, anger management and educational services.
“For now, we are good with operation cost, but before the cold hits, we will require a number of warm clothes like sweaters, socks, jackets and so on. We accept them as donations too. Regarding the general facilities, we always need solo cups, paper plates, napkins, toilet papers, paper towels and other basic items,” Varner added.
According to the manager, Arthur Hogan, the shelter receives 60-70 people per day which is less than the 100 to 130 people they used to get. The churches and companies, like United Way, have been helping them with basic supplies.
“We would like to thank all the people who helped at the time of crisis, also the entities that are helping us now,” Hogan added.
The mission of the shelter is to help community and churches, and the shelter continues to strive towards its mission.

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The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe
Homeless shelter in need of supplies