Helping the Poor and Homeless

Please do not give directly to the indigent that visit us

Many of us in the Garden District feel sympathy and compassion for the homeless and have tried any number of ways to thelp them as they panhandle and loitre around the neighborhood. Our experience is that when we give directly to them it puts our homes in jeapordy of being robbed and causes the neightborhood to experience escalated criminal activity. We implore all of you not to encourage the homeless by giving to them directly, by offering them yardwork, or by allowing them respite in our yards and porches. Instead we encourage you to support our local charities and direct the homeless there where professionals are better equipped to respond to their needs.For this reason we have composed the following into a downloadable flier which you can print and keep copies of to give to the disadvantaged and show them just how close real help is.

First Step to getting help:

Call United Way 2-1-1225-923-2114 or toll free at (877) 923-2114Counselors are on duty

  • M – F, 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

United Way 2-1-1 is an information and referral telephone service maintained by the Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center. Trained counselors assist callers by linking them to agencies in their community that can fulfill their particular need.

Some nearby facilities for those in need of food/shelter:

St. Vincent de Paul Dining RoomMAP | 220 St. Vincent de Paul Place(225) 383-7837 ext 208Hot meals available 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM dailyBishop Ott Shelter for Women and ChildrenSweet Dreams Shelter / Day CenterMAP | 1623 Convention St.(225) 383-7341

Bishop Ott Shelter for MenMAP | 1623 Convention St.(225) 383-7343Bishop Ott Shelter for MenMAP | 2550 Plank Road(225) 355-0374VOA Drop In CenterMAP | 153 N. 17th Street(225) 388-5800

CATS bus routes:

The #5 route has been cancelled but you can call (225) 389-8282 to find out how best to get to The Bishop Ott Shelter at 1623 Convention Street from your current location. Dining room and shelters are all near intersection of Convention and St. Vincent de Paul Place.CATS bus fare information:

  • Adults: $1.75;
  • Children under 5: Free
  • Senior citizens (62+), people with disabilities who show a CATS ID card, anyone showing a Medicare card, and students up through high school with ID: 35¢
  • You must have exact change ready when you board.

More Helpful Notes

VOA Drop In Center is where the homeless can go for case management, free health care two mornings a week, free legal help two days a week, help with housing location, and subsidies to help Vets with rent or utilities when there is money. It has offices for 23 different programs that serve homeless clients. Legal services are available five days a week and the Doctor’s office is now open four days a week (Monday – Thursday). Unfortunately, money is usually in short supply or non-existent due to so much need. The Volunteers of America have a service that is housed here where homeless people can take a shower, receive clean clothes, and have a mailbox so they may apply for jobs, etc. They are open 8-3 Monday through Thursday and 8-1 on Friday.You are encouraged to take donations or even your picnic leftover chicken to the O’Brien House, which is for people recovering from addictions. It is on Laurel St. at the corner of 12th. Someone is always there, lots of people in fact! A neighbor, Katherine Martin, ran it for years. She may now be retired.Homeless people are fed lunch every day at St. Vincent de Paul’s on Bishop Ott Dr. near at 1623 Convention St. That’s around the corner from the Greyhound Bus Station. A bag meal is given to them for their dinner at that time.

Garden District Civic Association of Baton RougeHelping the Disadvantaged