Overnight Homeless Shelter Coming To Old VA Hospital

New Orleans officials announced plans on Wednesday to expand homeless services at the former Veterans Affairs hospital located at 1530 Gravier Street. 

The expansion will include 100 new overnight shelter beds on the floor above the Community Resource and Referral Center which serves as a homeless day shelter.  The expanded, comprehensive facility will allow low barriers to entry, including no admission fee or sobriety test, longer length of stay and 24/7 access.

“Today’s announcement allows us to deliver on our promise to expand services and reduce barriers that prevent the homeless in our city from accessing care,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “Last year, 44 homeless people died on our streets and many more struggle to get the care they need."

The CRRC was established in 2013 as a partnership between the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System and the City of New Orleans. One dozen homeless service providers operate out of the facility during day-time hours, handling 1,000 visits per week.

City officials had considered more than a dozen potential shelter locations throughout the city for the "no barriers" shelter and at least one proposed site near two elementary schools drew major opposition. The city now says the former VA hospital had always been "a top prospect." 

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