Submitted by Rev. Alexis Anderson
Everyone must be getting involved in the Point in Time Count: January 23, 2023. We need to get the word out to faith, community, and businesses to participate in this year's point-in-time survey to identify those who are unsheltered and help get the federal funds associated with these services. The annual unsheltered Point in Time (PIT) Count has been scheduled for the evening of January 23, 2023, and counting will continue to occur for the remainder of that week. For those who may not know, HUD dictates that our Continuum of Care conducts this annual count of people experiencing both unsheltered and sheltered homelessness.
On January 17, 2022, Kevin Wayne Kitchen froze to death on the front steps of Polk Elementary. We continue to address the unsheltered as a size fits. We have those who have fought bravely for this country and who are unsheltered. We have children fleeing dangerous home lives that are unsheltered. We have families where the breadwinner works full-time and cannot afford the housing costs. We have people struggling with behavioral health issues, including addiction, and we have those who have reached an age where their resources don't meet their ability to afford livable housing. We have those that now live unsheltered because of natural and man-made disasters. They have in common that the solution is safe, accessible, affordable, and available housing.
Homelessness should not be a crime. We have a real opportunity to examine and address homelessness in East Baton Rouge Parish. But there are real opportunities. The first line of defense is our Capital Area United Way 211 system which operates seven days a week/24 hours a day, and the local housing COC, which is the Start Corporation at the One Stop.
Youth Oasis has just opened a drop-in center for our young people. SULC Vulnerable People's Initiative is partnering with Baton Rouge City Court on an Eviction Clinic. Multiple organizations are working on addressing the challenges of homelessness among veterans, immigrants and refugees and formerly incarcerated persons. Southeast Louisiana Legal Services remains on the front lines of this work and organizations like Disability Rights of Louisiana and Families Helping Families are working to ensure housing isn't just affordable but accessible. The Council of Aging is doing amazing work to reimagine what safe and affordable housing can mean in East Baton Rouge Parish. IRIS and other DV providers continue to meet the special needs of domestic violence survivors fleeing a home that is too dangerous to continue living.
Many organizations are working to reach out to those in need, but this month will be the Point-In-Time Count, and we need the community to get engaged and involved.
Community Resources for Addressing Homelessness
Addie C. Duval, LCSW-BACS
Vice President of Greater Baton Rouge Region
Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless
153 N. 17th Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Phone: (225) 388-5802
Cell: (225) 882-4042
Pronouns: he, him, his
Carrie Patterson, LCSW, Continuum of Care Manager
Louisiana Balance of State Continuum of Care | Louisiana Housing Corporation
Work Cell: 225-819-6049
firstname.lastname@example.org | http://www.laboscoc.org
2415 Quail Drive, 3rd Floor | Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Pronouns: she, her, hers