NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Ozanam Inn announced that it has purchased a new facility at 2239 Poydras St., completing the act of sale on Dec. 23, 2020. Since 1955, the nonprofit has offered emergency shelter, aid and comfort to the poor and needy in Greater New Orleans, providing basic human needs such as food, shelter and clothing, as well as healthcare assistance and other vital services completely free of charge.
For 65 years, Ozanam Inn has fulfilled its mission of supporting the homeless, benefitting from free access to its current building located at 843 Camp St. In late 2019, that longtime home of the Inn was sold, and the organization seized the opportunity to look for a new home that would allow it to better serve more clients.
“This larger facility opens many new opportunities for the poor and needy in our community. Ozanam Inn will be able to expand the number of people we serve, providing more individuals with the security of knowing they have something to eat and a safe place to rest their heads,” said Ozanam Inn Chief Executive Officer Clarence Adams. “We are so grateful to the City of New Orleans for the years of support and partnership. With their financial assistance, as well as the support of many generous donors, we can begin the process of moving Ozanam Inn to our new home. This is a new phase for our organization, providing a brighter future for so many in need.”
Bed capacity will expand from 96 to 150 in the new building, including sleeping dorms for women –— something Ozanam Inn has not been able to offer in the past due to a lack of space. The new facility will also allow the Inn to expand its medical and dental services with a dedicated clinic suite, including four medical exam rooms and a large dental exam room. This will give Ozanam’s partners at LSU School of Medicine, Tulane University Medical School and LSU School of Dentistry the opportunity to provide basic healthcare to hundreds more individuals each year.
Purchasing the Poydras Street building is the first step in Ozanam Inn’s ongoing expansion journey. Now that the Inn officially owns the new facility, it will begin retrofitting it to facilitate the needs of operating a homeless shelter. This includes the installation of a kitchen, sleeping dorms, an outside seating area and other spaces to provide basic human needs. All of this will require $1.8 million and, as of today, the Inn is at 44 percent of its capital campaign goal with a total of $800,000 raised thus far. With the community’s help, Ozanam Inn can reach the finish line, providing a brighter future for the city’s most vulnerable.
As the number of people who face the threat of homelessness continues to grow from the effects of COVID-19, Ozanam Inn remains committed to getting people back on their feet and fostering a brighter future. The Inn’s goal is to ensure a seamless transition, with no interruption of services, for its clients and the community. The organization hopes to move from its current location to the new facility later this year, pending renovations.