Homelessness is a big issue in the New Orleans region, one that extends to the Northshore. Winter is particularly hard — shelters fill up, it is cold, and there is often nowhere to go. It can be especially hard for single men, and one organization is Slidell is trying to help.
Mark McVille has been homeless for two years. He has worked as a tugboat captain and construction worker, and was in the army for a while. He always had a pretty good job and had no problem supporting his kids.
WWNO's Listening Post project asks questions about local news in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and reports back on the community's response. This week the Listening Post explores homelessness in New Orleans. Where did you sleep last night?
Last June, First Lady Michelle Obama announced an initiative to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015.
The New Orleans Mission has passed the half-way mark in a fund drive to revamp its Central City home. The plan will ultimately have men needing accommodation lining up in the back of the building — not on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard.
Temperatures in Orleans Parish are expected to drop to at or near freezing on Thursday night, prompting the City of New Orleans to put its freeze plan for the homeless into effect.
The freeze plan is enacted whenever the temperature or the wind chill factor is expected to fall to 35 degrees or lower. Temperatures near freezing, combined with the strong winds affecting the region, can cause serious medical problems to people exposed to them for extended periods of time.
Laniker Hunter-Davis is an outreach worker for UNITY of Greater New Orleans. She and her partner, Joycelyn Scott, drive and walk around the city trying to reach the hardest-to-reach homeless people. One night, I tagged along.
“The first place that we’ll be stopping is at Washington Park. It’s off of Elysian Fields. We have a lady that’s in that park with her dog, and she can’t utilize the shelters because of her dog. So we gonna go check on her.
Unity of Greater New Orleans Executive Director Martha Kegel explains a major drop in homelessness.
The number of homeless people in Orleans and Jefferson parishes has dropped 79 percent since 2007. A non-profit dedicated to getting those numbers even lower credits a coordinated effort for the success.