UNITY of Greater New Orleans

UNITY is a collaborative of 63 organizations that provide housing and services to those experiencing homelessness in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish as the lead agency in the homeless Continuum of Care (CoC). In this role, UNITY coordinates the community’s efforts to prevent, reduce and end homelessness by establishing standards of care, implementing a coordinated entry system to assist people in a housing crisis, and achieving system-performance to reduce the length of time people experience homelessness. UNITY is the lead applicant for HUD’s competitively funded CoC program which funds over 40 separate projects that provide homeless outreach, supportive services and rental assistance.

The goal is to promote partnerships between organizations who provide different services but are working towards the same goal: to end homelessness. When organizations work together, they reduce the challenge of people getting lost in the system as they try to navigate through multiple services to obtain and maintain safe and stable housing. UNITY has made great strides in reducing homelessness in New Orleans. By coordinating with HUD, the City of New Orleans, and many other local partners, UNITY helped to reduce homelessness by 90 percent between 2007 and 2019. In addition, UNITY was able to reduce veteran homelessness to reach “functional zero” in 2014.  UNITY has maintained this achievement by coordinating a Rapid Response system for veterans in which all veterans who because of poverty or disability are pitched into homelessness are permanently housed within an average of 30 days, unless they choose to enter a long-term recovery program. UNITY has achieved a similar accomplishment with family homelessness, reducing the length of time families experience homelessness to an average of less than 45 days. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNITY was part of a community effort to assist hundreds of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness to obtain non-congregate shelter in area hotels where they could stay healthy and transition to permanent housing.

To learn more about UNITY and donate, visit their website at unitygno.org.