Homeless in New Orleans

By: Shawnta Broussard

 The city we love for its culture and is different from anywhere else in America has one large problem, the homeless people of New Orleans. You can see panhandlers and people sleeping on the sidewalks around popular streets such as Claiborne, or walking around the French Quarter. Some are begging for change and money for food.

 New Orleans has a large homeless population, but the numbers are also declining thanks to help from shelters, missionaries, halfway housing, and residential alcohol and drug treatment centers. Most of the mission statements started out to help the needy. However, some places charge the needy for their accommodations everyday. If a homeless person wants to stay in a shelter they would have to be on the streets begging for money and some still have to find somewhere else to bathe.

How do you give something when you have nothing to give? There are not many places you can go that do not ask for something in return.

 Another key reason to a lot of homeless people gathering here is because New Orleans is a tourist city. There’s plenty of ways to make money giving tourists some form of entertainment, or making them feel sympathetic. The best sales pitch can make anyone give a donation, and tourists are running into more homeless that can make enough money without going through the proper channels for permits.

 There are so many different types of homeless people. Some are hitchhikers and train jumpers that travel around America. Some are alcoholics and drug addicts. Many have mental issues and most are stuck in poverty. Also, not all homeless people want help. They can be very resistant to leaving the territory they call home.

Many people are living in poverty due to the expensive housing in New Orleans. The average incomes are barely enough to afford housing. There’s no avoiding the struggle, that’s why people with good jobs may still stay at home with parents or with roommates. Jessica Moore, New Orleans native, says, “I became homeless by not having family members to help me get up on my feet . I had no choice but to give up my two daughters to a more fortunate family.”

 In order to avoid the numbers of poverty. The city would have to change its way of life from being strictly about money and tourism. We should be giving homeless a shoulder to lean on no matter what race, culture, or creed.


What Next?

Recent Articles