NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The City of New Orleans has started the first phase of its plan to get homeless adults off the streets on Friday, Nov. 17. The city shut down one of the biggest homeless encampments located under the bridge on Tchoupitoulas Street.
“They have been migrating from the Tchoupitoulas and St. Charles area down this way, so I’ve been seeing a couple of new faces,” says owner of Flawless Hair Studio Allen Pazon.
Business owners say the encampments leave customers hesitant.
“I have customers. A lot of the times they are a little nervous. A lot of times they try to seek shelter here if it’s raining,” says owner of We Like to Party Clorin Berry.
More than 20 people have been placed in subsidized units, as Unity and partners work together to secure subsidized housing for former encampment members.
Owners tell WGNO they hope this will boost business tremendously. However, they hope the city keeps its promise that it’ll properly find housing for the homeless.
“As long as they have somewhere for them to go it’s really helpful on both ends. It’s helpful for us as business owners and it’s going to be helpful for them to get off the street,” says the owner of Master Touch Shop Barber.
“I’m feeling good about it. They will be getting proper housing, the mental services and the things that they need. I think this will be great for our business. It’ll keep things clean,” says Berry.
Once cleared, a portion of the encampment will be temporarily fenced and patrolled to prevent new settlers. However, in the back of her mind, Berry could see potential homeless encampments returning.
“With the mission being so close by and the state of our economy with homelessness we may get some people away but we see new people here every month. We may not be able to resolve it right away,” says Berry.
The city does not plan to give the location of the subsidized apartments but has said it is located in the city’s “inner core.”
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