Cenla Homeless Coalition Seeks Funding through Continuum of Care Program
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Louisiana had an estimated 3,173 homeless individuals.
Of that total, 437 people are experiencing chronic homelessness.
Quinston Ficklin is working to change his life while he lives on the streets and wants to get his chauffer’s license.
“Trying to drive, you know, transportation. That’s what I’m working on. I’m trying to get there. I’ve been trying to get it. Doing this day to day, doing this here, holding a sign, that’s just enough to get by a day. You know, you know it’s hard. You know, if I had a boost or extra help, I’d be good, you know.”
Quinston Ficklin is grateful to the Cenla Homeless Coalition for giving him the support he needs.
“I ended moving down here with my mom. I finally officially moved down here cause I was back and forth from Natchitoches to here.”
Quinston Ficklin says he fell on hard times when he was kicked out of housing.
“And the landlord, he said you aint on the lease, so I was like okay, but that’s my mother. He said, I’d evict your momma. So I’m like, Okay, Imma go so I ended up being homeless for a like a year.”
Supportive Services Manager Tessa Matthews encouraged him when he was living on the streets.
Quinston Ficklin says, “Thanks for Mrs. Tessa, she’s really, really good, you know. She’s there when you need her, you know. She will get on you, like a momma too, but she’s there when you need her.”
Quinton Ficklin says he loves coming to the Homeless Coalition to eat the packed lunches.
They also provide meals from the Manna House. They put the meals inside the bag and give them to the homeless.
CLHC Executive Director Joseph Buzzetta says the Cenla Homeless Coalition is part of the Continuum of Care Program.
“You’ve got the Homeless Coalition, Volunteers of America, and the Hope House that provide direct care services to people who are experiencing homelessness but we both kinda have a community organizing aspect of it, where we are looking at current trends, current needs, and trying to help fill those gaps.
Their goal is to provide funding and quickly rehouse homeless individuals.
Buzzetta says, “For example, we have an outreach program so the question is: how can we get our outreach worker to find a client and get them to a supportive housing program that might be with a different agency so we always in close communication to figure out what’s the best way to service both our community and the people that are experiencing homelessness in it.”
Quinston Ficklin says people like Tessa keep him from giving up.
“She stuck it out with us, you know, she really stuck it out with us, and I applaud her for that, and I congratulate her for that.”
The Cenla Homeless Coalition is asking for donations like water because it gets so hot during the summer and is hosting an Open House on Tuesday, September 6th to inform the public on how they can get involved.