LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
Email: bcapo@wwltv.com | Twitter: @billcapo

NEW ORLEANS -- Streetcars and tour buses pass the bedrolls on St. Charles Avenue, giving visitors a view of the homeless camp under the Pontchartrain Expressway.

'This is not made to live in,' complained area businesswoman Cassandra Sharpe. 'There are no provisions for bathrooms, there are no provisions for living.'

On a frigid day, the living here is not easy.

'They have drug trafficking, prostitution, stabbing people, robbing people and we're homeless,' said Anden Johnson, explaining she had lived here.

'Oh, it's cold, it's very tough,' said George Alonzo. 'It's very cold out here. They got a lot of people that really need help.'

Unity Outreach workers offered help, and a city spokesman said there is an ongoing effort to get people into stable housing.

'We have been assessing people for housing, trying our best to motivate people to go into the different homeless shelters while they're being assessed,' said Angela Petterson of Unity.

For the homeless, this is a place where the bridge provides shelter from the rain, and it's between the New Orleans Mission and Ozanam Inn which provide food, so when the city does force them to move, it is not long before they come back.'

'It continues to horrify us and astound us at the large numbers of people who continue to move in,' said Patterson.

'The city needs to solve this problem, whether enforcement or, it just can't continue,' said Sharpe.

'I've been homeless for five years, and Unity helped me get a house,' said Johnson.

'There's people helping me right now, and I'm trying to change my circumstances. I will,' said Alonzo.

'There's so many success stories, but there's so much more to do, and the problem is a lack of necessary housing opportunities,' Patterson said.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.wwltv.com/story/news/2014/09/04/14667502/