BASTROP, LA. (KTVE/KARD)– Pastor Christie Fleming saw a need for a homeless shelter in Morehouse Parish.
“I had made a number of friends in the homeless community and it became clearer and clearer to me that a homeless shelter in Bastrop would be a blessing,” Fleming said.
So she opened up what’s now the ‘Lighthouse Homeless Shelter’ on South Vine Street. She said the main mission is to build loving relationships and support people who are struggling to get back on their feet.
“Also to help people with addiction problems, to connect them with social workers who can help them to get idenitification and getting on medicaid,” Fleming said.
Fleming said they also want to create a sense of family at the shelter. They offer a tv room, a kitchen, and even a quiet room where people can read.
“We 24-25 regular visitors here, not all at one time,” Fleming said.
She said with the colder weather rolling in, she expects that number to double. Right now, there are 40 beds ready for visitors, but extra safety precautions are being taken due to the coronavirus. Fleming said they’re waiting for the State Fire Marshal’s Office to approve their overnight shelter.
“Many of my homeless friends don’t hang around here, but as they say, as soon as the overnight shelter opens up, they’re here,” Fleming said.
The city is currently helping the shelter financially and Fleming said her church is also supporting efforts.
“It is not an easy ministry, but it is one that blesses all of us in the long run,” Fleming said.
Right now, the shelter is open to those in need from Mondays through Fridays. Fleming said they’re currently working on a plan to open their doors on the weekends, as well.