HOPE Connections to build safe haven shelter

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Helping people off the streets and into permanent housing is the mission of HOPE Connections. They’re expanding their services for people who aren’t candidates for other shelters in the area. They are building a low-restriction shelter called a safe haven.

“Out on the streets I didn’t feel safe. I couldn’t get any rest,” said Tyler Simpson, a HOPE Connections Client. Simpson now has a safe space to rest his body, relax his mind, and focus on building the skills to maintain permanent housing. He found that space at HOPE Connections.

“We connect people with mental health services, substance abuse services. We get people I.D.’s, birth certificates, everything they would need to go into housing,” said Christa Pazzaglia, Executive Director, HOPE Connections.

HOPE Connections will soon be able to serve more people by expanding and building the area’s first low-restriction shelter, known as a safe haven. It will provide 37 beds for people to shelter through night.

“We will just taken them in no questions asked. No ID no requirement.” said Pazzaglia. “We have been dealing with this population for a really long time. We’ve run a day shelter and seen this population day in and day out .”

According to Pazzaglia, since HOPE Connections built its shelter on Levy Street in 2014, unsheltered homelessness has been reduced by 65% in Shreveport-Bossier.

When they expand the current shelter, they expect to serve 350 people each year and help them find housing.

Find out more about HOPE Connections at www.nwlahope.org.

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