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Residents displeased with low barrier shelter plans

Residents say shelter puts children in danger

In early October, the Landrieu administration announced its plan to build its first low barrier shelter in Central City, located at 3101 Erato St.

The city is currently awaiting the state to approve the shelter project.

However, residents in the Central City neighborhood are concerned with the planned low barrier shelter, and voiced their opinion in an Oct. 20 community meeting hosted by the city.

Ben Kleban, founder and president of New Orleans College Prep, a school a block from the shelter, told The Louisiana Weekly that parents are concerned about the planned shelter.

The shelter will be located between two schools, and a residential neighborhood. The principal. along with other residents, is concerned with the low barrier requirements that will allow intoxicated individuals, and other who don’t meet the requirement of higher barrier shelters, to enter the neighborhood.

The community members affirmed they are not anti-homeless, but are concerned about the children and its location.

City Council members LaToya Cantrell and Stacy Head are both opposed to the location the the shelter. However, the City Council has already approved the city’s $1 million budget and cannot obstruct the city from building the project.

Tyrone Walker, spokesperson for Mayor Landrieu’s office, said that a similar school was located by a temporary low barrier housing program for two years and no incidents occurred.

The building was previously a boxing gym, measuring at 12, 376 square feet. The city bought the property for $750,500.

The city allocated $1 million to fund the low barrier shelter, and The Downtown Development matched funding, and will continue to match the city’s funding for the shelter.

The shelter is expected cost the city and the Downtown Development District, between $500,000 to $750,000 annually. The shelter will have 75-100 beds.

The shelter is intended for the homeless population that needs immediate housing, and lack access or relationship with other city housing programs.