Apart of the City of New Orleans’s 10-year plan to end homelessness, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and several city officials broke ground on the city’s first low-barrier homeless shelter, which will open in April of 2018.
The low-barrier shelter will be located on the second floor of the old Veterans Affairs Hospital Building at 1530 Gravier Street. Spanning 12,000 square feet, the renovated floor will have 100 beds, a living and community space, restrooms, showers, a kitchen, and office space for operators and service providers. Mathes Brierre Architects will lead the renovation of this space.
In a 2016 agreement, The City of New Orleans and the Downtown Development District both agreed to put $1 million each toward the shelter. The City of New Orleans, The Conventions and Visitors Bureau, and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Authority will split the shelter’s yearly $1.5 million operating cost.
In October of 2016, the Landrieu administration announced it would build its first low-barrier shelter in Central City at the site of an abandoned boxing gym. The site would have been located between two schools and a residential neighborhood near Erato Street. Residents and City Councilmembers Latoya Cantrell and Stacy Head urged the city to find a new location. The Landrieu administration announced its plans to use the second-floor of the VA building for the shelter in October of 2017.