The Louisiana Homeless Coalition is made up of four regional agencies as well as a statewide service. The branches work with non-profit organizations as well as regional department of human service offices in an effort to address the housing needs of Louisiana residents. They help the vulnerable, people seeking stability, and anyone struggling to pay for housing.
The goal is to come up with programs to end homelessness and ensure the availability of affordable housing across the state. With the cost of rent as well as key utility bills (including water and electric) increasing each year, the number of families that are living in poverty and that struggle to keep up is extensive. The Louisiana Homeless Coalition and its partners such as Center Point Hope are a resource that is available.
This is available for the population of tenants and very low income families that need a comprehensive approach to housing stability. There is assistance for the truly vulnerable, including victims of domestic violence, immigrants, people with chronic substance abuse, single parents, Louisiana residents with serious mental illness, and HIV/AIDs families among others. Veterans as well as the physically disabled that are living in poverty also fall into the special needs category.
The Louisiana Homeless Coalition will work to meet their needs using funds from the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. The programs available combine direct financial aid for housing expenses along with applications to federal government HUD supported programs. Examples of these include the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) (which helps individuals living with HIV/AIDS) to Section 811 Housing for the disabled in Louisiana.
Special Needs solutions are available across the state. They include the Northeast Louisiana Housing & Supportive Services Corporation, Center Point Hope for Homeless, as well as the central and Southwest Louisiana Homeless Coalitions as well. The assistance available from each of these varies. HOPWA may offer direct financial aid for utility or rent, while section 811 is a voucher service. There is also assistance in placing immigrants into a low income apartment and helping them transition to the region. But some form of support is arranged.
Women as well as children are also a focus in Louisiana. There is assistance for those fleeing domestic violence as well as for single moms that are currently homeless. So many types of situations are addressed. The Louisiana Homeless Coalition works to ensure that children are well cared for, and housing is part of what is given.
With parents struggling to keep up with all the bills for a child, ranging from food for the extra mouth to feed along with child care and also rent, it can be difficult. The coalition will try to meet each of these needs by issuing everything from vouchers to pay for child care to placement into a low income apartment for the women and their children.
Programs also stress keeping the family together. Having a stable, two income household is critical to ending a cycle of poverty. Studies show that about 50% of single parent households in Louisiana are struggling to keep up with their housing needs, but the number goes way down where there are two wage earners. Therefore, part of the assistance from the Louisiana Homeless Coalition involves keeping people together as a family unit.
Everything possible is done to help struggling families with their housing needs and to prevent homelessness. The Coalition is a major supported of coordinating resources across the state. They bring together faith-based organizations, local parish governments, non-profits, groups such as the United Way, and even businesses. Sessions are set up to implement solutions to addressing homelessness in the state and advocate on behalf of struggling residents. They also have information on government homeless prevention and rapid rehousing programs, and referrals are given to those when qualified.
When it comes to people seeking direct financial aid, most of this is the result of funding from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Coalition is one of many groups that are involved in administering grants from this government agency. The goal is to try to get funds to those parts of the state that will make a major difference in addressing housing needs in the region.
For information on Louisiana Homeless Coalition affiliated programs, the numbers to dial are the following. They include the Mental Health and/or Substance Abuse Hotline at 1-800-662-4357, and this can be a provider of details on section 811 housing in Louisiana. People impacted by HIV/AI can call (318) 442-1010, or women/children may try the Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-411-1333 for information on housing programs.
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