DDD Success Stories
This month, the DDD outreach worker assisted N in reuniting with her family and returning home to Florida. Our Outreach Worker first met N in on Gravier Street and assisted her in entering the city’s low barrier shelter. The Outreach Worker kept in touch with N and encouraged her to connect with the family reunification services offered at Grace at the Greenlight, one of our partner agencies. N did so and was able to return home to Florida at the end of April, and she is now safely living with her family there.
Finding Home Downtown
The DDD outreach team assisted M, an older woman who has been experiencing homelessness on and off for the past decade, in moving into a renovated building Downtown that has a relationship with M’s state voucher program. After several months at the low barrier shelter, M was excited to move into her own unit in a high rise, complete with a washer and dryer and lots of space to herself. M looks forward to building a home Downtown after spending many years on the streets nearby.
Back home for M and G
The DDD outreach worker helped two individuals she encountered in a crisis make it back home safely within hours. In one of these scenarios, the DDD outreach worker encountered a young woman and her baby in crisis on Canal Street and, after several hours of gaining the woman’s trust and tending to her and the baby’s immediate needs, was able to learn the woman was locked out after fleeing a domestic violence situation and didn’t know her landlord’s name or phone number as she had recently moved in through a third-party rental assistance program. The outreach worker found the landlord, coordinated her being let back into the unit, provided supplies for her and the baby to head home with, and re-connected her to her team at a local domestic violence support agency, the New Orleans Family Justice Center.
Progress for W
W is an older gentleman who has been experiencing homelessness in the downtown area since Hurricane Ida, when the roof of his previous apartment was destroyed. Despite W’s attempts to have his landlord fix the ceiling, nothing improved and so he started living on the streets. W’s physical disabilities prevent him from leaving his spot under the I-10 bridge very often, but he keeps a positive spirit. Our new outreach worker met with him this month, and got working on his SNAP, disability, and housing applications all in the first meeting!
Welcome Home, H!
H has been experiencing homelessness downtown for most of the past five years. He can often be seen panhandling in the Central Business District and lives with severe mobility issues. Several months ago, the outreach worker assisted H in obtaining a medical bed at the Low Barrier Shelter. Since that time, H and his housing case manager have been looking for an affordable, ADA-accessible apartment that can accommodate H’s automatic wheelchair. This month, H was finally able to move into an apartment near to downtown, and he was excited to begin his life out of the shelter and off the streets for the first time in years. Congratulations, H !
Journeys Home for 5
This month, the DOD outreach team at Travelers Aid assisted five unique individuals in traveling home to live with friends or family in other cities. Two of these individuals were helped with tickets to live with friends with whom they’d been trying to reunite in Florida, two were helped to replace the key to their vehicle, so they could continue their drive to live with family in California, and another was assisted in reconnecting with her disability income so she could purchase her own ticket back to Lafayette where she will live with her children.
We are happy to see so many people make it back home with their support networks this month!
Progress for E After 17 Years
Over the past year and a half, the DDD outreach worker has gotten to know E, a 65 year-old gentleman who has been homeless since Hurricane Katrina, through time spent talking with each other in Duncan Plaza and outside of the Superdome. For the last 17 years, E has been living in a house right on the fringes of the DDD – his family owns the home and while it is missing half a roof, two walls, and has no power or water service, E makes sure the front of the property remains in order by cutting the grass and cleaning the sidewalk. For over a decade, he has used his disability check to help ensure the taxes are paid because he so hoped his family can one day restore the property. However, in the past year, as E’s health has begun to decline, E realized he may need a quicker path to housing. So, E completed the housing application with the DDD outreach worker earlier in the year and was approved for a housing voucher this month. E has seen one apartment already and is eager to hear back from the landlord and move into an apartment with a complete roof and all four walls, at which point E feels he will have a more stable base to explore how to help his family restore their property.
Many Steps in One Afternoon for S
Earlier this month, the DDD outreach worker got to speak with S for the first time. S is a young woman who has been sleeping on the streets of downtown New Orleans for several months but who has historically avoided conversations with DDD rangers and the outreach worker, sitting silently on the sidewalk for days at a time. However, recently, S began to open up to the DDD outreach worker and asking for help. So, in the last week of the month, the outreach worker and S spent an afternoon together and put many wheels in motion for S – they replaced S’s ID, replaced her disability benefits card, ordered her birth certificate, began the process for S to re-enter rehab, and completed S’s housing application. Everything accomplished in that afternoon helped reinforce the payoff of persistence of visiting S and offering help over and over, and we are excited to see all that S can accomplish from here on out.
Angela Owczarek, the DDD’s Outreach Social Worker in conjunction with the Traveler’s Aid Society, assists many people in every month helping them begin a new, more stable life indoors. We thank Angela for all of her compassion for those with the greatest needs.