Local Education, Community Leaders Convene Today To Discuss Proposed Erato Street Homeless Shelter
NEW ORLEANS – Today, Monday, October 3, 2016, residents, parents, students, education leaders, elected officials and leaders of the Central City community will meet to discuss the proposed Erato Street "low-barrier" homeless shelter proposed by the City of New Orleans.
The meeting will take place at the Sylvanie Williams College Prep Cafeteria, 3127 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., at 4:30 p.m.
"Low barrier" means a minimum number of expectations are in place for people who access the shelter. This would include people who are intoxicated, suffering from mental illness, or have other backgrounds or conditions that would prevent them from being admitted to other homeless shelters in the city.
Many education and community leaders agree that providing more services for the homeless population in New Orleans is the right problem to address, but locating the shelter in an economically-challenged neighborhood, in close proximity to two public schools and a mixed income community, is the wrong solution.
City officials said for decades, many local homelessness advocates have called for this type of shelter to ensure unsheltered individuals establish immediate linkages to a safe, clean shelter where they can be connected with service providers and resources to put them back on the path toward permanent housing status. Establishing a low barrier shelter in New Orleans is strongly supported by UNITY of Greater New Orleans, Metropolitan Human Services District, the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Catholic Charities, the Harry Thompson Center, HUD, VA, the Louisiana Housing Corporation and many more, City reps said.
The shelter is proposed to be located at 3101 Erato St., within one block of two public schools: Sylvanie Williams Elementary School and Booker T. Washington High School.
Those scheduled to attend the meeting include:
• Ben Kleban, Founder and President, New Orleans College Prep
• Rhonda Kalifey-Alusie, CEO, KIPP New Orleans Schools
• LaToya Cantrell, City Councilmember, District "B"
• Tanya James, Executive Director, Central City Renaissance Alliance
• Representatives from the Neighborhood Development Foundation, Guste Homes Resident, Booker T.
• Washington Alumni Association, Marrero Commons, Walter L. Cohen Alumni Association, Krewe of Bacchus, and Families and Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children