In early October, the city of New Orleans announced plans to create its first low-barrier shelter in Central City. However, Mayor Mitch Landrieu is rethinking its location.
According the The Advocate, Mayor Landrieu asked the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority to delay is low-barrier shelter operations for a month, after many leaders and residents urged the city against building the shelter in Central City.
A low-barrier shelter is designed to service the homeless population that cannot be reached by the city’s various housing initiatives, and it has few requirements for admission. This would be New Orleans’ first low-barrier shelter.
The city announced its plan to use 3101 Erato Street, a former boxing gym located in Central City, in early October.
City officials will now consider two alternative locations: the old Veterans Affair hospital on Perdido street, and the former Israel Augustine Middle School Building at Tulane and South Broad avenues.
While the city is considering other locations, it is still keeping 3101 Erato Street as an option.
This past October, city officials hosted a community meeting to obtain public input from residents and community leaders in the Central City neighborhood. While the residents were in favor of having a low-barrier shelter in the city, they were concerned about its location. The potential shelter would be located between two schools and a residential neighborhood.
City Council members LaToya Cantrell and Stacy Head both opposed the proposed Central City. In early 2016, New Orleans City Council approved $1 million to create a low-barrier shelter. The Downtown Development District has since promised to match funding by the city to ensure the development of the shelter.
The shelter is expected to have a operating cost of $500,000 to $750,000. The shelter is planned to have 75 to 100 beds.
Residents displeased with low barrier shelter plans [Curbed NOLA]