A historic building in New Orleans damaged by Hurricane Katrina is being renovated and is now housing eleven formerly homeless veterans.
On the Friday before Christmas, Darren Dalpiaz, a 48-year-old Army veteran, was one of the chronically homeless vets who moved into what’s being called their “forever home,” in the 1908 Sacred Heart convent and school.
When completed, the building will house 109 low-income families in apartments, with 54 of them set aside for formerly homeless individuals.
Because homelessness is so often linked to mental or physical disability, residents like Dalpiaz will be assigned on-site case managers to assist them with things like medical appointments and reconnecting with family.
Evidence shows the hands-on approach works, according to UNITY: All of the previously homeless tenants, even those with challenging disabilities, have remained stably housed since the building opened two years ago.
Dalpiaz’s daughter cried when he called last week to say he was no longer homeless. He is thrilled that his new grandchildren can come to visit their granddaddy.
(WATCH the video below from WGNO or READ the full story from the New Orleans Advocate)