City Invests $8M to Expand Low-Barrier Shelter and Relocate Ozanam Inn

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Photo courtesy of Ozanam Inn (Facebook)

NEW ORLEANS — From the City of New Orleans:

Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced today that the City has invested approximately $8 million to expand programs that support the eradication of homelessness in New Orleans. The City has allocated more than $3 million for the acquisition for the new home of Ozanam Inn and $5 million to expand the Low Barrier Shelter, which opened in 2018 and will include an additional 246 new beds.

“The City of New Orleans will continue to operate strategically, utilizing funding from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to invest in programs that support our residents most in need,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “We are creating long-term solutions to invest in the eradication of homelessness by relocating Ozanam Inn to a much larger facility, and extending bed capacity and services to reach women in need of a temporary housing solution. We are also increasing bed capacity to the already-full Low Barrier Shelter to continue to meet our people where they are.”

The Ozanam Inn’s new property is located at 2239 Poydras St. in the Central Business District, previously located on Camp Street. The new location is a much larger facility and presents an opportunity to expand the services provided. It will also extend sheltering opportunities and expanded services to women in need of assistance. The Inn can accommodate up to 55 women on the second floor of the facility and includes dedicated dental and medical rooms for the residents and other homeless individuals living in the surrounding area. Ozanam Inn has provided meals to the homeless population and sleeping accommodations to homeless men since 1955.

Mayor Cantrell prioritized phase II of the expansion project to increase the bed count at the Low Barrier Shelter due to the overwhelming need and ability to reach capacity within the first few weeks of its opening. The shelter initially housed 100 beds and will include a total of 346 beds within the next couple of weeks.

“The goal is to transition folks from homelessness to permanent housing, and to match each person with the supportive services and the life skills needed for long-term housing stability,” said Marjorianna Willman, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Policy and Community Development.

The Low Barrier Shelter is located in a portion of the 2nd and 3rd floors of the old Veteran Administration Hospital building. The facility provides meals, supportive services and sleeping accommodations for both women and men. As a part of its programming, the City coordinates with outreach workers to identify unsheltered homeless individuals that are the most vulnerable and have been unhoused the longest. Federal funding has been allocated through the Mayor’s Office of Housing Policy and Community Development to assist in locating permanent housing for homeless individuals.

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