LAFAYETTE, LA (KADN)- One local woman is lending a Helping hand to the homeless community by allowing them to shower in her home.
Chantel Matthieu, the founder of Cajun Compassion, has about 50 homeless people that come to her home to shower each week. She does this because she was once in their shoes.
“At one point in my life I was homeless, so we do have a special connection with each other. I go out there and I sit down with them, I pray with them. And now it's time for me to give back,” Matthieu said.
Matthieu was homeless just eleven years ago. In 2015, she created Cajun Compassion after being inspired by her now 11-year-old daughter.
“I saw them sitting on a bench and seemed like they had no family, no, no, and spend thanksgiving with no food so I wanted to give them that gift for people to spend thanksgiving and food,” Pyper Comeaux, the daughter of Matthieu, said.
That motivated the mother to step out on faith and create the organization.
“After that, the gratitude on their face, handing out those plates were just unimaginably heartfelt, so we just continued,” Matthieu said.
Cajun Compassion provides free showers, meals, and clothing to the homeless. According to Matthieu, these were the essential things she needed when she, herself, was homeless.
“The Lord provided me a way to get back up on my feet and per John 5:8 I am supposed to cheerfully share my home with those in need,” she said.
Matthieu has seen tears of joy from those whom she helped, and some have even come back once they were on their feet to join the organization.
“Without this, we would have been probably on the streets,” Robbi Schooley, a volunteer of Cajun Compassion, said.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Schooley became homeless after being let go of her job. She reached out to Cajun Compassion and they stepped in to help provide food and aid for shelter for her and her family.
Without their help, Schooley doesn’t believe she would be where she is today.
“Don't be afraid to ask for help. The Lord says if we ask, we shall receive so they provide that link and to help bless folks that are in need,” Schooley said.
Cajun Compassion is currently accepting donations for portable shower tents, frozen food, and toiletries. You can find them on Facebook @CajunCompassion.