NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) – Hundreds of New Orleans’s homeless will be getting a home this holiday season. Local organizations banded together to rescue families in need and the disabled from the streets.
Nettie Clancy has been living under the Claiborne bridge with her dog for more than a year.
“I have Lupus plus depression so you know, it’s tough and there’s no where you can go. To the shelters, but I have a dog and so you can’t take the dog and that’s all I have. He’s my baby,” said Clancy.
She’ll tell you horror stories of what it was like being a disabled woman with no where to go.
“I’m by myself, got so many men trying to pay you for sex, drugs, people overdosing and dying – and rough, very rough,” said Clancy.
Now, she and her best friend will have a roof over their heads just in time for the holidays.
“It’s amazing, it’s like God is so good, so good,” said Clancy.
UNITY of Greater New Orleans, with the help of 60 other local organizations, were able to rescue Clancy and others from the streets. Over the past 80 days, the group says it’s moved 56 homeless families out of emergency shelter, and 182 disabled homeless neighbors into permanent housing. Their campaign is called “200 Homes for the Holidays,” but this year, they were able to give more than 238 people a home for Christmas. The group says it’s been their most successful campaign ever to house the homeless.
“It’s a miracle that so many people who have suffered for so long – children, chronically homeless individuals with disabilities – all got housed for the holidays. Now, they’ll have a safe, warm home after years on the streets,” said UNITY of Greater New Orleans Executive Directo, Martha Kegel.
Clancy will receive rent assistance and a case manager who will help her become self-sufficient.
“I connect them with resources within their community, cause I’m the one that’s finding them the house. In finding the house for them, the home rather, I’m familiar with the city and things like that, I may say there’s a food bank there or a grocery store here,” said CrescentCare Housing Specialist Keishone Sylvester.
Clancy says she and her dog couldn’t be more grateful to finally have a place to call their own.
“It’s going to be quiet, and there’s not going to be no fights, and there’s not going to be no drugs, and Jesus thank you – just amazing,” said Clancy.
UNITY of Greater New Orleans says their work isn’t done yet. The coalition plans to help even more homeless families find a permanent place to live for the New Year. That’s something the group says is critically important when you consider a recent count found 62 homeless people died on the streets of New Orleans this year.
UNITY says Entergy provided a lot of the funding to make 200 Homes for the Holidays, happen.
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CrescentCare is one of the organizations partnering with UNITY to offer aid to the city’s homeless, and has housed over 140 homeless clients in the past year.