New Orleans Considers New Downtown Homeless Shelter

NEW ORLEANS – It’s a $7 million project designed to centralize the New Orleans homeless population for outreach workers and offer mental health and addiction services.

         According to  Katherine Sayre with | The Times-Picayune, a coalition led by the Downtown Development District is developing the outdoor homeless shelter in the downtown area.

         Kurt Weigle, president and CEO of the Downtown Development District, told Sayre a so-called "low-barrier" shelter has been a missing piece in the city's system of care for the homeless.

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         Sayre reports low-barrier shelters are designed to have fewer rules to stay there, such as being sober or having an ID, to encourage more mentally ill and chronically homeless to walk in and access services.

         Sayre reports the New Orleans proposal is being modeled after facilities in San Antonio, and where a $101 million homeless campus called Haven for Hope includes a mental health and addiction recovery-focused Restoration Center.

         The new shelter will be created by a coalition partnership including the city health, housing and community development departments, the Metropolitan Human Services District, Health Care for the Homeless clinic, University Medical Center, New Orleans Emergency Medical Services and NOPD, Sayre reports.

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