Mayor-President Kip Holden plans to help paint — at least the first few strokes — during a free makeover Tuesday of the Baton Rouge Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Bishop Ott Shelter on Convention Street.
The makeover is part of a nationwide effort by the Benjamin Moore Paint Company and the United States Conference of Mayors to give makeovers to a homeless shelter in each of the 50 states plus one in the District of Columbia.
The makeovers are part of the Color Care Across America program.
The Bishop Ott Shelter was the shelter chosen in Louisiana after Holden nominated the Baton Rouge facility a few months ago.
“I have always had a pretty good working relationship with the United States Conference of Mayors and it looks like we got the inside scoop on something here,” Holden said.
Holden said winning the makeover speaks highly of the shelter’s good work especially at a time when people are having a hard time financially.
The Bishop Ott Shelter has been around since 1997, and since then has had only minor painting done, said Michael Acaldo, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Society of St. Vincent De Paul.
“It’s something we need desperately,” Acaldo said.
Acaldo said it’s been hard to give the shelter the proper upkeep it needs when demand for sheltering services has been so high over the past year.
“This year marks the first time in its history that the shelter has been over capacity. We are usually at capacity, but since the economic downtown last year, we have been over,” Acaldo said.
The Bishop Ott Shelter is 10,000 square feet, has 70 beds, and houses a men’s shelter, a women’s and children’s shelter and a homeless day center, Acaldo said.