Saturday, May 25 2013 11:58 PM EDT2013-05-26 03:58:41 GMT
A day after the deadly tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma a Red Cross response team from Lake Charles rolled into ground zero. "We got here on Tuesday morning. Tuesday morning at about 7:30 in theMore >>
A local woman is among a group of Red Cross volunteers from Lake Charles in Moore, Oklahoma. While she's been on many disaster recovery trips she said this one has taking on a personal meaning.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 8:31 PM EDT2013-05-26 00:31:47 GMT
Lake Charles Police are investigating an a second armed robbery this month at the Subway restaurant on Ryan Street. The latest incident happened Friday around 9:08 p.m. Employees told police a blackMore >>
Lake Charles Police are investigating an a second armed robbery this month at the Subway restaurant on Ryan Street. The latest incident happened Friday at 9:08 p.m.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 7:18 PM EDT2013-05-25 23:18:04 GMT
The Lake Arthur Regatta brought in many people to enjoy the music, food and fun, especially boaters out on the lake. But it's all about keeping this fun time a safe one. "We'll have around 200 volunteersMore >>
Keeping an eye on those having fun on the water. More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 11:20 PM EDT2013-05-25 03:20:27 GMT
For a family in Lake Charles, one phone call changed everything. The aftermath of the Moore, Okla. tornado revealed the loss of a loved one. One of the children who died at a school destroyed by the tornadoMore >>
A family in Lake Charles mourns the loss of a young relative in the Moore, Oklahoma tornado.
Friday, May 24 2013 8:43 PM EDT2013-05-25 00:43:00 GMT
The Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office is looking for a bank robbery suspect. The Vernon Bank branch on Colony Boulevard in New Llano was robbed Thursday afternoon. Investigators say a black male subjectMore >>
The Vernon Bank branch on Colony Boulevard in New Llano was robbed Thursday afternoon.More >>
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Get local news, weather, sports, and video on your mobile device.More >>
CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -
Homelessness. It's an issue many times associated with big cities and considered a problem only on the national level. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in 2012, there was a recorded 633,782 people considered homeless in the United States.
Nearly 8,000 of those were reported in the state of Louisiana and of those, 162 were reported in Southwest Louisiana's five-parish area.
"If I had to rate the scale of the problem, I would say that it's probably medium scale here in Calcasieu Parish" said Tarek Polite, executive director of Human Resources for the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury.
He said that while 162 people represents only 3 percent of a national number, that's 3 percent too many. Anytime anyone lacks a place where they can lay their head at night, it's a problem, he said.
Polite also leads the Southwest Louisiana Continuum of Care (COC), working as the area's leading advocate for the homeless. He explained the difference between an urban face of homelessness and the face most commonly seen in rural areas.
"Calcasieu is different from an urban area like Orleans Parish where you may go to New Orleans and commonly see people who are sleeping under I-10 or on the streets or so forth," he said. "Certainly because we don't have people sleeping on Ryan street that doesn't mean that we do not have a homeless problem here in SWLA or Calcasieu Parish."
'Miss Sheila' is a former homeless veteran who lived on Broad Street in Lake Charles for three years. Thanks to funds administered through the police jury and the COC, she won't be counted as a part of that 162. She reflects on her time being homeless on the street.
"Well, it doesn't feel quite as different yet but I got over there and I got things started getting there for me ... I'm just glad," Miss Sheila said. "I got stamps, income or working on it. Like I said, I got room and board over there so it's fine ... meals."
While Miss Sheila is one success story of the resources that are in the area to help the homeless population, there are many more who need help, and some where the access to resources aren't as simple.
"There might be some individuals who are just experiencing some minor temporary setback whether it's a loss of a job, income or something of that nature and they just need a little boost up. We can generally get that turned around pretty quickly," Polite said. "For people who are dealing with more sustentative issues, it could be a little more difficult to get them into permanent housing."
In part two of this 'Living in the trees' special report, KPLC's Gerron Jordan introduces you to a man who hasn't been as lucky as Miss Sheila and is still living, sometimes at his own will, in the woods.