More Room at the Inn
For 65 years, Ozanam Inn has offered emergency shelter, aid and comfort to the poor and needy of New Orleans in a building located at 843 Camp St. In late 2019, the nonprofit’s longtime home was sold, and the organization seized the opportunity to look for a new home that would allow it to better serve more clients.
Ozanam Inn’s new home —at 2239 Poydras St. — puts clients in close proximity to the Biomedical District, allowing Ozanam Inn to offer more access to resources. The plan is to transition from current location to the future home in mid-to-late 2021.
“We are so grateful to the City of New Orleans for the years of support and partnership,” said Ozanam Inn Chief Executive Officer, Clarence Adams. “With their financial assistance, as well as the support of many generous donors, we can begin the process of moving Ozanam Inn to our new home. This is a new phase for our organization, providing a brighter future for so many in need.”
The organization’s bed capacity will expand from 96 to 150, and will include sleeping dorms for women, something Ozanam Inn has not been able to offer in the past. The move will also mean the nonprofit will be able to expand vital services such as case management and life skills training.
The 31,351-square-foot facility will also allow for the expansion of medical and dental services with the addition of a dedicated clinic suite, including four medical exam rooms and a large dental exam room. This will give Ozanam’s partners at LSU School of Medicine, Tulane University Medical School and LSU School of Dentistry the opportunity to provide basic healthcare to hundreds more individuals each year.
The organization will also soon begin retrofitting the building to fit the needs of operating a homeless shelter. This includes installing a kitchen, sleeping dorms, an outside seating area and other spaces to provide basic human needs.
“This larger facility opens many new opportunities for the poor and needy in our community,” said Adams. “Ozanam Inn will be able to expand the number of people we serve, providing more individuals with the security of knowing they have something to eat and a safe place to rest their heads.”
Adams said the pandemic has changed the look of homelessness in the region.
“Many of those who we are seeing now are newly homeless or teetering on the edge of becoming homeless,” he said. “With the pandemic, so many are out of work and unable to pay their bills, let alone provide food for themselves or their families. This is a new type of homelessness we are seeing, people who have never been in this situation before. Through special programs, we are able to help individuals and families with rental assistance, food, and other aid so that they don’t lose their homes.”
We, at Ozanam Inn, commit ourselves to the ideals as stated by our patron, Blessed Frederic Ozanam, when he said:
“Yours must be a work of love, of kindness, you must give your time, your talents, yourselves. The poor person is a unique person of God’s fashioning with an inalienable right to respect. You must not be content with tiding the poor over the poverty crisis; You must study their condition and the injustices which brought about such poverty, with the aim of a long-term improvement.”
In keeping with the gospel mandate of charity, we shall accept the challenge and offer food, shelter, compassion and hope to those in need in our society, as their servant.
Shelters 96 men per night;
Serves an average of 400 to 500 meals each day, or 150,000 to 180,000 meals per year; and
Provides some form of assistance to over 20,000 men, women and children annually.
In 2020, the organization assisted 1,703 men, women and children with clothing.
Ozanam Inn is at 44% of its capital campaign goal of $1.8 million with a total of $800,000 raised thus far.
How individuals and businesses can help Ozanam Inn
To donate visit their website, www.ozanaminn.org, or call 504-523-1184. Items in demand include: food, men’s pajamas, women’s pajamas, over-the-counter medications, sliced bread and gift cards to grocery stores and large retail stores.
Local businesses play a big part in the organization through product donations, grant and sponsorship opportunities and volunteer opportunities.