The line stretched for nearly a block this morning at St. Vincent de Paul’s annual coat giveaway Tuesday.
The charitable organization gives away coats collected by a young girl in Indiana every year. This year, they had more than four thousand coats to distribute. Spokesperson Linda Romine attributes the above-average turnout for the coats to the extreme cold weather.
“We had people lined up outside the Cathedral of the Assumption all the way to 5th Street,” she says. “And there was a steady line out to door to 5th Street for about the first full hour we were open.”
She says there’s also been a greater demand for St. Vincent de Paul’s services in recent years.
“Since the recession hit in 2008 requests for assistance are up about 70%. That’s seven zero percent…in all areas,” says Romine.
Operation White Flag is in effect in Louisville, meaning shelters take on additional tenants during cold weather. Romine says St. Vincent de Paul’s men’s shelter has been full for most of the month.