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NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans mission says the percentage of homeless women in New Orleans has increased by 66 percent since 2012, forcing officials to create a new initiative to meet this challenge.

Officials at the mission located on Baronne Street have seen a spike of women looking for a homeless shelter in the past year.

To meet this unfortunate demand, the mission is joining with Gardner Realtors to raise $300,000 to expand the women's shelter -- $50,000 has been raised so far.

'They're suffering from physical abuse, mental abuse and verbal abuse, and most of our ladies are pretty tired of it,' said David Bottner, executive director for the New Orleans Mission.

'So I think what happens is, although we are doing a great job with working in the city to eradicate homelessness, the problem still remains. There is a heart issue. Unless we deal with the heart of people we're going to see this type of danger, especially for women.'

The women's shelter currently shares space with the administrative offices of the mission. In order to turn 16 beds to 38 beds for women, the administration will move out of the space, as the offices will become bedrooms.

The mission is looking for volunteers to work at the mission to meet the influx of women.

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