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11-13 6:15am Tommy, homeless begging

Nov 13, 2013|

Tommy talks to Martha Kegell, the Executive Director of Unity of Greater New Orleans, about helping the homeless

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

-- cable right joins us right now executive director of unity new -- -- It is a non profit organization that leads a collaborative of 63 organizations that provide housing and services. At a homeless they try to prevent reduce and and homelessness they also -- and distribute funds would. The provision of housing and services by the collaborative and sales of perform outreach on the streets to. Tell homeless people what options are available to them. It was that we look him in Martha Siegel good morning Martha. Delegate that's straight pretty much a certain degree. -- thank you let's talk about an advertising. Just it. When he constant is that we will talk to Marjorie -- later but the legalese of what happened the court ruling and so forth. But so many parts nudges in the New Orleans area but in the metro area drive around in and we sees sometimes the same people on street corners. Day after day after day and a lot of people. It'll tell me stories and -- -- -- myths I don't know if they've actually seen in about it and collecting them beggars and then they're back on the same street corner -- They think it's a scam and so forth that's waited on -- of what what would you say you know that morning you research and outreach known. Well it's interesting actually. Many have shown. People who paid. Only about a third of them are actually homeless even if they have a sign that says that they are homeless. So I am not saying that. People who bank are wealthy by any stretch of the imagination but it's important to keep in mind that. They may or may not actually be homeless. And I I also think that it's important to be really thoughtful about what your. Approach should be naturally an individual question. But one thing to keep in mind is that for many people who chronically homeless. Oftentimes they have co occurring disorders which means that in addition to mental illness or physical -- state may also suffer. From not abuse and that sometimes giving cash may not be the best response to actually make their problems worse. I've also heard from people Marat who say they've dried off for food Nate gets declined and he slept a fluid out of the hands -- -- -- -- no money. -- people. Except food you know if you if you carry not everybody is that no one size fits all response but. Oftentimes. People who are really homeless there are -- accept. Nonperishable food items that they are not necessarily homeless in my -- not accept. Surpassing guy every day. Like on the work in the morning -- -- -- out there and every day sometimes he's sleeping on the sidewalk -- it's mourned today was standing up because. And my heart went out tonight for whatever reason he's out there that that somebody would be outside. We -- last night. And just wondered if -- have people not seen him of people like contacted him is he somebody that doesn't wanna be in a shelter area are enough shelters avail. No we don't have enough shelters available we actually. Has. About the same number of -- that we had before Katrina in terms of emergency shelter beds and yet the number of people. Experiencing homelessness on any given night is about 14% higher now than it was before Katrina. But having said that we've made dramatic progress we've actually reduced homicides by. 80% just since 2007. We've done that but by providing housing and services but. The problem is still. Bigger then the resources that we have we're trying to be as Smart as possible the resource as we do you have. And give people exactly like. It appears that they need and no more. Many people. Who experience homelessness is just a very short lived is that we have about a third of our population. In poverty so that means that any particular setback the loss for the job. And it fiction there isn't anything to fall back on often times. And so people may be placed in homelessness temporarily but they may be able to pull themselves out just with. You know a few nights at a shelter. So that they feel they need for others. Especially people with chronic physical and mental illnesses especially things like. Schizophrenia. -- them. Really paid their -- may need to be long term supports both in terms of an assistant in case management. Yeah I'm not trying to delve into your personal life here but but I think when you know when you have somebody that's on a street corner. -- better than you to tell them about all the resources that are available so. Do you give -- money. Well I don't tend to give people money and I would I would tend to. You. How about resource -- but more importantly. It's like he's somebody in need to call my outreach team. And make sure that there are aware of the person that they're working with the person and that number is 821 and four point 96. Extension one on nine anybody can call and tell us about the location of the person they think is needed to make sure that we. Are working with that person can take you know even even for persons with. Then the highest need to leave and who we regard as the highest priority person. To be working with it could help them month. Six weeks even two months to get them in the permanent housing is infinitely complex process. And so we may very well be working with that person that you're passing. But on the other hand especially -- an -- place we may not know about the person yet so. We used to the public please -- call. 8214496. Extension one on 910. -- talk directly answered asleep at the message telling us about the location. Of a particular person please describe that person. As best she -- in terms of age race gender. Any any anything in particularly one note about. About them. And wailing of about thirty seconds left but but I would like to ask you -- have you ever heard of -- Discovered any organized effort where. Is some some to -- management team whatever puts people out on the streets of different corners and then pick some up and l.'s share the proceeds. I have heard about that and I think that kind of divert our attention away from the people that. That really are in need we really do need everybody to help we're making a lot of progress on this issue. Well make people more progressive and everybody's help so if you can donate some gently used household goods like tarnishing plates bed linens. That helps that helps to get people off the street into permanent housing that they don't have to be homeless anymore. My my if a commercial break I'm going to be asking you for help so -- so much for your time thank you.