Changemakers: Renee Blanche

Deputy Director and Director of Development, Ozanam Inn

Established in 1955, Ozanam Inn has provided help for homeless and underserved people in New Orleans for decades. And as Deputy Director and Director of Development of Ozanam Inn, Renee Blanche has seen many changes during her 10 years with the organization. One of the biggest changes was Ozanam’s recent move to a new location after 66 years in its Camp Street building. Now housed at 2239 Poydras Street, Ozanam Inn’s team is excited about the opportunities this location offers.

For starters, the Poydras Street location increases bed capacity significantly, from 96 to 155. And for the first time, the organization is able to bring women in for overnight shelter and residential programs. They are already serving more and more clients at the new space, which is located near public transportation, the VA Hospital, and more locations their clients frequent.

As Blanche explains, Ozanam Inn offers a breadth of services to meet many needs. For instance, anyone can use their location as a mailing address, and they give out mail six days a week. Ozanam Inn also has an outdoor seating area, which gives folks a chance to stay on site during the day. The outdoor area is covered, with roll-down blinds for warmth, as well as heaters. Clients are welcome to use the restrooms, get water, and talk to case workers. For health services, Ozanam partners with LSU and Tulane to offer medical and dental clinics with dedicated exam rooms.

All of the services Ozanam offers are provided free of charge to clients. As Blanche says, most of the people who come to Ozanam are in need, vulnerable, and looking for a change. Many are facing the loss of a job or the passing of a loved one. “Most people are really trying to get their lives back together,” said Blanche. “They are trying to get help and get back on their feet.”

To help clients regain independence, several different residential programs allow men and women to live on-site on a semi-permanent basis. Employment programs are also available. “We want people to be in a good, healthy, independent place when they leave here,” said Blanche.

Get Involved

Monetary donations are always welcome at Ozanam Inn. In addition, donations of pajamas and pillows are needed at this time. Reach out to Blanche and the rest of the Ozanam team to learn more about how you can help their organization continue to thrive.

Ozanam Inn
2239 Poydras Street
New Orleans, LA 70119

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