Area’s homeless population growing

The American Press

The number of people in the Lake Charles area who are considered homeless is growing. Volunteer organizations have stretched their resources so thin, they are worried they won’t be able to continue meeting the demand.

Those who attended a forum on Tuesday said there are close to 500 homeless people in Lake Charles. That’s in stark contrast to an annual homeless survey known as Point in Time. Last year’s survey recorded roughly 50 homeless people in the area.

Along with people who are considered chronically homeless, the high-dollar industrial projects being built here have made apartments and rental homes more expensive. More people are experiencing homelessness for the first time because they are being priced out of the housing market.

Agency officials acknowledge the gap between the survey results and what homeless people, and others who work to help them, are saying. That’s why they urged residents to take part in next year’s survey to get the most accurate count.

Doing so could be instrumental in getting federal funding to help with long-term solutions.

The forum also gave people the chance to brainstorm ideas that could help the homeless in the short term. Suggestions included repurposing warehouses and abandoned buildings as shelters; updating the process to recruit landlords to keep rental property costs down; and simplifying the process to get homeless people a picture ID.

The Point in Time survey is set for Jan. 28. If you know someone who is experiencing homelessness, tell them about the survey and ask them to participate. It’s not something people want to do, but it could at least give a more accurate representation of a problem that needs improving.

The high turnout for Tuesdays’ forum shed light on just how bad the homeless crisis is here. People were given the chance to vent and have their voices heard on what needs to be done.

Events like these are important for officials to hear directly from those who desperately need a home. At least it helped bring some solutions for easy fixes to the table.

Solving the homeless problem as a whole in Lake Charles and Calcasieu Parish is going to take plenty of work and dedication on all levels.

 

””Homeless Concerns

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Let health experts call shots

high-school Football

Jennings High comes to aid of former foe

Local News

Victims of Ida get glimpse of journey ahead

Local News

Support workers not pleased with supplemental pay plan in Jeff Davis

Local News

Only a fraction of funding reimbursed to Cameron by FEMA

Local News

15 child deaths attributed to COVID in La.

Local News

School Board extends COVID-related sick leave policy

Local News

Kind Vibes Only: CPSO hosts one-mile anti-bullying walk

Local News

Sowela rolls out fifth annual Flying Tigers Car Show

Local News

Parents urge Jeff Davis School Board to oppose any vaccine mandate

Local News

City hiring two agencies to help with disaster recovery financial advocacy

Crime

Man arrested in Monday shooting near McNeese campus

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:State’s election system secure

Local News

Transfer of Mallard Cove Golf Course to Chennault complete

Local News

Maplewood schools will remain closed Thursday

Local News

Kinder Future Farmers of America collect, deliver fuel to Lafourche Parish

Local Business News

Disaster assistance request for SW La. makes it to budget

Local Business News

Area LyondellBasell plant receives ISCC PLUS certification

Local Business News

When it comes to headwear, Anne Monlezun and Kevin Mattingly have got you covered

Local Business News

Elizabeth Jimney column: Building a website that works for you

Local Business News

Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area business

Local Business News

Few things please Chloun more than delighting diners with authentic Middle Eastern cuisine

Local News

Nicholas expected to weaken to a depression overnight

Local News

Nicholas weakening as it moves toward SW La.