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

McNeese Sports

Ex-Cowboy King promoted to Astros

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Contributions buy results

life

DeRidder High graduate latest $10,000 Sunny Brown Scholarship recipient

Local News

Louisiana becomes first state to allow surgical castration as punishment for child molesters

Crime

Suspect in Benoit Motors dealership fire sought

Local News

La. faces lawsuits over mandatory display of 10 Commandments

life

PHOTO GALLERY: It’s alligator feeding time — check out this action

Local News

Finger out of joint: Damaged metal to blame for bridge shutdown

life

SW La. nightlife calendar: There’s always something to do

Crime

6/21: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

life

Vietnam service members, their families to be honored Saturday

life

Starkid Productions comedy coming to ACTS Theatre stage

life

‘Ain’t Misbehavin’: LCLT opens Fats Waller musical today at Southlake Theater

Crime

Judge: More accountability needed for juvenile offenders in SW La.

life

House of worship, closed for more than four years, set to reopen Saturday

Local News

Tropical Storm Alberto dissipates after heavy rains kill 4

Local News

Casssidy: Bill would ‘dismantle’ DEI efforts

Local News

Fontenot signs with Cowgirls

life

Free summer concert: LCCB presents’ A Night at the Movies’

Crime

LC pair sent to prison for federal firearms, drug offenses

Crime

6/20: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

life

PHOTO GALLERY: A magic moment

Crime

Two teenagers charged in robbery in which female was shot

Local News

Some memories don’t fade away: LC’s Dark recalls legendary Mays