Everyone needs a moment to collect themselves. The same goes for a person who has no place to stay. It's hot outside and sleeping on the streets is no playground. “We get them feed, we get them showered,” explains Salvation Army of Acadiana employee Mike Rogers.
$7 a night is not much for some people. For a person who is homeless that's plenty. July begins the10 nights free at the Salvation Army shelter. These are nights that can be used anytime – but within a six month period. After they are used, January will be next time a person can get them again. “Give them the opportunity to find a job, replace a driver's license, or ID card and perhaps get their social security card,” says Rogers.
That's what the 10 free nights are for. The time to get indoors gives a person a chance to pull themselves together. The free nights have to be used within six months. Rogers says no one under the influence will be admitted. “We have a zero tolerance policy on alcohol in the Salvation Army. We want to make sure that everybody stays safe and it's a comfortable and clean and safe environment.”
Plus, as the summer progresses those extra nights can come in handy. Exposure to any extreme weather condition can be hazardous to a person's health. “It's just one of those situations where the Salvation Army does this 365 days a year. Whether it's cold, hot or in between, we are here,” adds Rogers.
A person can only renew those10 days twice a year. The next time will be in January 2014.