CoC is a federally-recognized designation for organizations leading the charge for homelessness services and programs within a community.
The Homeless Management Information System is used to collect client-level data on those experiencing homelessness in our community.
Imagine you find yourself homeless or facing eviction, where do you even begin to seek help?
Imagine you have been homeless, on the streets, for months...
We've put them in housing, what do they need now?
Being homeless means more than just not having your own home. With the need for clarifications, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defined four categories of homelessness:
Literally Homeless – An individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, meaning:
Imminent Risk of Homelessness – An individual or family who will imminently lose their primary nighttime residence, provided that:
Homeless under other Federal statutes – Unaccompanied youth under 25 years of age, or families with children and youth, who do not otherwise qualify as homeless under this definition, but who:
Fleeing/Attempting to Flee Domestic Violence – Any individual or family who:
While we may not have dozens of people lining our major roadways around the City, there is a homeless population estimated to be about 40 unsheltered, chronically homeless people who live in abandoned buildings and abandoned houses downtown, in addition to many families who are the “hidden homeless” and live in cars or move from one friend/family member to another every few days. In fact, the Rapides Parish School Board identifies over 300 children in these families each school year. Plus, shelters across our region serve over 400 people annually, with over 100 people in shelters throughout CenLa on any given night.
If you encounter someone who is homeless, please contact our office to report the location and we’ll pass the information along to Outreach workers who are trained to assess the situation. If the person is hungry and seeking food, you may let them know that Salvation Army serves breakfast and dinner 7 days a week, and Manna House and Main Street Mission both serve lunch.
The Continuum of Care is comprised of many types of programs and services with one goal in mind: to reduce and ultimately end homelessness in Cenla. Some examples of programs in our community include:
OUTREACH: trained case managers are out in the streets looking for people who may be living in abandoned buildings or under bridges to begin building a relationship of trust with the individual. Outreach begins with basic immediate needs such as hygiene items, blankets, clothes, etc. and can often result in referrals for services or housing.
EMERGENCY SHELTER: for immediate needs. Includes a bed in a local shelter or hotel/motel voucher if shelters are full.
TRANSITIONAL HOUSING: includes long-term stays in a housing program while seeking employment or other income, learning valuable life skills, and establishing a savings account to be used for securing a permanent residence.
RAPID REHOUSING: for families and victims of domestic violence. Covers the up-front costs of establishing a place of residence including deposits, first month’s rent, past utility bills, and moving expenses. Could also include case management for a limited time for families with additional barriers to housing or those at risk of becoming homeless.
HOMELESSNESS PREVENTION: provides rent arrears payments and occasionally utility arrears payments to prevent a family from being evicted. Usually includes case management and a financial stability plan to prevent recurrences of future evictions.
PERMANENT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING: these housing units are funded by HUD and are restricted for use by people who are chronically homeless and score high on the acuity assessment. Includes rental subsidy and extensive case management for as long as the individual chooses to remain the program. Many people who access PSH have been on the streets for 10 years or more and require frequent visits from trained case managers to teach daily life skills such as operating laundry machines, communicating with landlords, buying groceries, and maintaining a household budget. Most of the rental subsidies are used at public apartment complexes or private rental properties.
There are lots of ways you can help people who are homeless in Central Louisiana! Be sure to sign up for our mailing list so that you get notified any time there is a volunteer opportunity.
You can make a tax-deductible contribution to end homelessness by giving to our cause! View our Donate page for more information.
SCHEDULE AN EVENT!
Are you a member of a church group of civic group interested in hosting an event for people who are homeless? Or, are you one of those highly organized people who enjoys bringing your group of friends together for a good cause? You can schedule an outreach event! All you have to do is click here to let us know what type of event you and your friends are hosting, and we’ll help to get the word out! Events could be feedings, prayer groups, art expression, clothing distribution, or anything that could benefit someone experiencing homelessness.
When one of our providers places a family or individual into a rental property, case managers always follow-up and stay connected to the person through regular house visit. Case managers ensure that rent is paid on time each month, that the unit stays clean and tidy, and that the tenant understands key components of the lease agreement. The lease is between the property owner and the individual/family, rarely between the property owner and the agency. By partnering with the CLHC, we can supply a steady stream of tenants for your rental properties and provide an additional layer of support when dealing with tenants who were formerly homeless.