The Times-Picayune: More than 100 Volunteers to Assess City’s Most Vulnerable Homeless People Tonight

Published: Tuesday, December 14, 2010, 4:15 PM

By Martha Carr, The Times-Picayune

Over 100 volunteers will fan out to the city’s three emergency homeless shelters tonight to interview those using the shelters to determine who is most likely to die if not housed.

The initiative is part of the “100,000 Homes Campaign,” a national effort to find and house the nation’s 100,000 most vulnerable homeless people by July 2013.

UNITY of Greater New Orleans, the homeless services collaborative, is coordinating the local campaign, which will begin at 5:45 p.m. at 2475 Canal Street, First Floor Annex Conference Room.

After a brief training, volunteers will go to the New Orleans Mission, Ozanam Inn, and Salvation Army to conduct “Vulnerability Index” surveys, which help determine which people meet national homeless research criteria showing a high risk of mortality.

High-risk criteria include at least six months of homelessness coupled with being 60 years old and older or having medical factors such as liver disease, kidney failure, or frequent hospitalizations.

According to UNITY surveys, New Orleans and Jefferson Parish have an estimated 11,500 homeless people on any given night and more than 19,000 over the course of a year – nearly twice as many as prior to Hurricane Katrina.

 © 2011 NOLA.com. All rights reserved.

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