Homeless shelters seeing more women and children seeking help

Monday, February 25, 2013 - 6:13pm

With the cold temperatures lingering throughout the area, more homeless are seeking shelter but now it's the women and children looking for a little extra help.

More than ever before St. Vincent De Paul has a steady amount of people coming in and out of its shelter and a huge demand for services.

"It made me feel good that someone was actually there to help me that I could turn to someone when ideally needed it," says former homeless mother, Stella Johnson.

Stella Johnson had her son, Cantrell, in a homeless shelter only a few months ago. She had no where else to go and needed a helping hand.

"Two decades ago the largest segment of the homeless population was men. However, the fastest growing homeless population is women and children and families," noted Johnson.

Stella found herself surrounded by others, in her exact situation.

"I met a lot of mothers that was going through the same thing that I was going through and I felt that I wasn't in it alone and we made friends like that."

Shelters such as St. Vincent De Paul are seeing an increase of women and children.

“As the cost of living goes up it makes families that are just a paycheck away from homelessness it becomes reality," says Acaldo.

The good news is the pattern of homelessness can be broken, just as it was for Stella Johnson who's taking care of herself and her son on her own now. “I live in south Baton rouge in a beautiful 3 bedroom 2 bedroom house that the shelter program helped me get in,” says Johnson.

And it's all thanks to St. Vincent De Paul and the other women like Stella who is looking for the same thing.

“If you’re around people that are moving out and breaking that cycle of homelessness it’s tremendous to be in a place where everyone is going for the same goal," says Acaldo.

With budget cuts throughout the state and the nation, the organization's current funding might not be enough.

So if you want to help St. Vincent De Paul, click here for more information.



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