Helping the homeless is something a Shreveport group takes very seriously. To expand its reach, the nonprofit is soon to move into a new house of its own.
Christian Service, a local charity organization, plans to move into a new 10,000-square-foot space owned by "Hope Connections" which is led by "Hope for the Homeless." It brings together nonprofits at a single location in Shreveport to help those facing homelessness and poverty.
"We've heard that in Northwest Louisiana there are 90,000 people who are one paycheck away from being homeless," said Christian Service Board President Jayne Snyder explained.
Christian Service was founded in 1970 by Sister Margaret McCaffrey. It aims to shrink the plight of those close to losing their homes. An annual Poor Man's Supper puts the spotlight on the struggles facing those in need. Breakfast and lunch is served to about 200 people every day of the year except Christmas.
Alvin Moore, Christian Service Interim Executive Director, said no one is turned away.
"You don't have to have identification card to come in to eat," he said. "We just come in and we serve you with dignity."
Christian Service's goal: To provide meals and clothing for all those struggling to make ends meet, so they have enough money to pay other expenses and prevent them from going homeless.
"It costs the American taxpayer between $50- and $75,000 dollars a year for every homeless person," Snyder said.
Christian Service has operated the last 44 years from its current headquarters in the 1200 block of Sprague Street in Shreveport. Its new digs will be inside a 10,000-square-foot warehouse owned by Hope Connections in the 2300 block of Levy Street.
"So, we hope by the end of the year that we will have the Hospitality House and the clothing part and the emergency assistance part of Christian Service in the Hope Connections on Levy Street," Snyder said.
Christian Service officials say they will begin a fundraising campaign and apply for grants to raise the money necessary to move into that warehouse. It will be double the capacity of their existing facility, with the goal of serving more people in need.