NEW ORLEANS — Evacuees from Lake Charles in need of a place to stay are now being directed to Alexandria after the reception center at the Shrine on Airline closed.
Evacuees who arrived to the Metairie reception center late Sunday were directed to the Morial Convention Center for temporary shelter, according to the Department of Children and Family Services.
“We’ve been going through a lot of motels,” said 16-year-old Shannon Bell from Lake Charles.
Bell has been traveling across the state with his family, staying in hotels in different cities. They drove to Metairie hoping to find shelter through the reception center at the Shrine on Airline Monday morning, but arrived to an empty parking lot.
“We’re really just trying to find somewhere to stay right now,” Bell said.
Monday morning, DCFS announced they closed the evacuee reception center at the Shrine on Airline, opening a new center in Alexandria.
The Alexandria MegaShelter will be open 24/7 at 8125 Hwy 71 South Alexandria, LA 71302.
“They saw a lot of traffic,” New Orleans Director of Homeland Security Collin Arnold said about the Metairie reception center.
The city is now shelter 9,200 evacuees in 33 hotels.
“We are at capacity at hotels. The hotels are actually renting out these rooms so it’s as many as they have or are willing to commit. We are at that point now,” Arnold said.
Arnold said sheltering evacuees this hurricane season is especially challenging because of COVID-19.
"We have never done complete non-congregant sheltering," Arnold said.
A resource center is now open at the Morial Convention Center for evacuees to receive toiletries, clothing, backpacks with school supplies for kids, and health resources like COVID-19 testing and tele-medicine for evacuees. It’ll be open every day through Friday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
If you have donations do not drop them off at the Convention Center. You can drop off toiletry items like soap, toothpaste, and hygein products to United Way on Canal Blvd from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. You can drop off gently used, clean clothing to the Junior League Monday and Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Men’s clothing are especially needed right now.
Evacuees seeking shelter should go here:
Alexandria Reception Center
8125 Hwy 71 South
Alexandria, LA 71302