United Way of SW La. sheltering community members in area hotels

Published 8:16 pm Friday, January 21, 2022

United Way of Southwest Louisiana secured hotel rooms for hurricane victims and the homeless this week, registering nearly 700 individual families needing a warm place for the incoming freezing weather. 

 “We are housing 634 people tonight in nine local hotels,” says Denise Durel, president and CEO of United Way of Southwest Louisiana. “I’m distressed by the 434 community members that requested a room, and we could not fulfill the need.”

The agency is providing breakfast, snacks and some lunches, with partners providing the rest. Catholic Charities of SWLA and AETNA Better Health of La is also offering meals to guests. The Louisiana National Guard is providing bottled water for guests at several locations. 

Email newsletter signup

United Way of Southwest Louisiana provided rooms to Water’s Edge for their homeless program.  

“We are cognizant of the many individuals needing assistance during these winter storms,”  Durel said. “Our mission is the long-term impact, but we always act swiftly during emergencies to ensure no one has to suffer. We are also hopeful that we can help some of these individuals with the root cause of their homelessness and move them forward in their life.” 

Thursday night the team provided 455 individuals with rooms in seven hotels, but a gift from St. Michael and All Angel’s Episcopal Church enabled that number to grow to 634 individuals at nine area hotels or motels.