Public Health

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the challenges faced by our most vulnerable populations. The pandemic caused many relied upon services to modify or even shut down operations. Simultaneously, the compounding impacts of the pandemic caused significant declines in mental health.

Investment

The Administration will funnel resources to address the widest service disparities among vulnerable populations. This investment will seek to address public health needs holistically to reduce the intersectional impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on communities.

Public Health Funds

Public Health Projects by Fund

9th Ward Athletic Center
Fund Amount: $2,500,000

Projects in this fund:

9th Ward Athletic Center

Build athletic center on GW Carver HS campus

DepartmentCAO
Participating OrganizationOrleans Parish School Board
Project StatusExecution
Project ManagerLawrence Williams

Child Advocate Program
Fund Amount: $50,000

Projects in this fund:

OCJC CASA of New Orleans

Funding will provide complete support for the CASA New Orleans Child in Need of Care Case Advocates program. The program recruits, trains, and coordinates volunteer advocates for children in foster care. Advocates prepare court reports, attend court hearings, and meet one-on-one with children while they are in the foster care system and assist with securing housing and employment for children who remain in foster care until adulthood.

DepartmentOCJC
Participating OrganizationCASA of New Orleans
Project StatusProcurement
Project ManagerAll

Community Based Violence Intervention & Prevention
Fund Amount: $500,000

Projects in this fund:

NOLA Peace Ambassador (NPA) Program

Development of NPA program, a street-level violence interrupter program that aims to prevent and reduce violence by intervening in potential conflicts and mediating disputes before they escalate.

DepartmentNOHD
Participating OrganizationUbuntu Village NOLA
Project StatusMonitoring
Project ManagerAmy Menelle

Violence Intervention Program (VIP)

Expansion of VIP, a school-based mediation program, that provides anti-gun violence interventions and aims to decrease shootings and increase community safety and specifically for children and staff in NOLA PS.

DepartmentNOHD
Participating OrganizationCenter for Restorative Approaches
Project StatusMonitoring
Project ManagerAmy Menelle

Food Security Program
Fund Amount: $1,000,000

In 2023, the New Orleans Health Department (NOHD) received $1M in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to improve household food security and improve access to nutritious foods for New Orleans residents who were negatively impacted economically by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) the NOHD sought community-based organizations to deliver programs and services that would achieve Food Security program goals, prioritizing organizations with an established history of providing food assistance, improving household food security, and increasing healthy food access.  

The NOHD received seven applications for projects and programs such as Food Distribution & SNAP Application Assistance, Food Assistance Program Match, Food Hub Development, Household Food Sustainability & Produce Prescription. The total funds requested was $2,721,488. To ensure maximum impact, applicants were asked to provide alternative budget scenarios if their program or project could not be provided with the full amount request. The programs and projects were selected for their clear focus on direct household assistance and direct aid expenses, maximizing impact to the New Orleans residents who are the most affected by food insecurity. 

Project Timeline 

The NOFA was announced on July 3, 2023, and had an application window of approximately 30 days. Selection Committee was developed and concluded their objective reviews on August 25, 2023, announcing the selected applicants on August 30, 2023. Selected organizations worked with the City’s ARPA team and the NOHD to develop and route a detailed contract that holds the organization accountable for robust reporting and monitoring requirements. The contract approval process was completed for all organizations in January 2024. All programs are expected to have the total of their funds by December 2026. The programs are not only designed to run for the duration of ARPA funding, but also structured to maximize their positive impact well beyond the end of 2026. 

Selected Projects 

Top Box Foods has received $400K to fund their Food Prescription Program which supports the purchase of and direct delivery of medically tailored, healthy foods to medically and economically vulnerable New Orleans residents.  

Second Harvest Food Bank has received $100K to fund their Healthy Food Banking Program which supports the expansion of organization’s established food banking programming, distributing healthy food to Central City neighbourhoods, and providing nutrition education and SNAP outreach activities to improve health outcomes and reduce barriers to healthy food. 

Sankofa Community Development Corporation has received $250K to fund their Lower Ninth Ward Healthy Food Hub Project which supports the development of the Lower Ninth Ward Healthy Food Hub, a fresh produce retail store and teaching kitchen providing New Orleans residents with fresh produce vouchers and access to health screenings, nutrition classes and hands-on cooking workshops.  

Market Umbrella has received $250K to fund their New Orleans Market Match Expansion (NOMME) Project which supports the expansion of the Market Match program, an established SNAP incentive matching program, allowing for additional retail partners including at least one brick and mortar retailer, increasing access to fresh food, providing greater buying power to New Orleans residents. 

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Projects in this fund:

Food Prescription Program

Development of the Food Prescription Program, supporting the purchase of and direct delivery of medically tailored, healthy foods to medically and economically vulnerable New Orleans residents.

DepartmentNOHD
Participating OrganizationTop Box Foods
Project StatusMonitoring
Project ManagerAmy Menelle

Healthy Food Banking Program

Expansion of food banking programming, supporting reduced barriers to healthy food for Central City residents, largely focused on the barrier of physical access due to the food deserts in Central City and providing nutrition education and SNAP outreach activities to improve health outcomes.

DepartmentNOHD
Participating OrganizationSecond Harvest Food Bank
Project StatusMonitoring
Project ManagerAmy Menelle

Lower Ninth Ward Healthy Food Hub Project

Development of the Lower Ninth Ward Healthy Food Hub, a fresh produce retail store and teaching kitchen providing New Orleans residents with fresh produce vouchers and access to health screenings, nutrition classes and hands-on cooking workshops.

DepartmentNOHD
Participating OrganizationSankofa Community Development Corporation
Project StatusMonitoring
Project ManagerAmy Menelle

New Orleans Market Match Expansion (NOMME) Project

Expansion of Market Match program, a SNAP incentive matching program, allowing for additional retail partners, increasing access to fresh food and buying power for NOLA residents.

DepartmentNOHD
Participating OrganizationMarket Umbrella
Project StatusMonitoring
Project ManagerAmy Menelle

HNP Project Expansion
Fund Amount: $1,000,000

Projects in this fund:

Healthy Neighborhoods Project (HNP) Expansion

Funding will support maintaining 125 existing HNP lots for 4 years, 4 non-HNP lots with Chapter 66 violations or other City owned properties and One building mural.

DepartmentCode Enforcement
Participating OrganizationTulane University
Project StatusProcurement
Project ManagerAmy Menelle

Low Barrier Shelter
Fund Amount: $1,000,000

Projects in this fund:

Flex Fund

Funding will assist in the rapid rehousing of unsheltered citizens and ensure their success by providing moving-kits (furniture, linens, etc.) to individuals and families.

DepartmentOCD
Participating OrganizationUnited Way of Southeast Louisiana
Project StatusExecution
Project ManagerAndrew Sensi

LBS Capital Improvements

Improvements to low barrier shelter entrance and exterior to enhance service and security.

DepartmentOCD
Project StatusProcurement
Project ManagerAndrew Sensi

Medical Debt Payments
Fund Amount: $1,300,000

Projects in this fund:

RIP Medical Debt

Funding will provide medical debt relief to income-qualified New Orleans residents through a partnership with a nonprofit entity that specializes in acquiring and cancelling outstanding medical debt. The partnering entity will recruit local hospitals, health care providers, and commercial debt buyers to participate in the program and through those partnerships the vendor will acquire medical debt for purposes of debt cancellation.

DepartmentNOHD
Participating OrganizationMedical Debt Resolution, Inc.
Project StatusMonitoring
Project ManagerAndrew Sensi

Project Highlight: Medical Debt Payment

Project Status: Ongoing

This project provides medical debt relief to income-qualified New Orleans residents through a partnership with a nonprofit entity that specializes in acquiring and cancelling outstanding medical debt. The vendor recruits local hospitals, health care providers, and commercial debt buyers to participate in the program and through those partnerships the vendor acquires medical debt for purposes of debt cancellation. With the allocated $1.3 million in ARPA funds, the vendor estimates being able to cancel approximately $130 million in medical debt for 50,000-60,000 income-eligible New Orleans residents. This debt cancellation will improve financial stability for residents struggling with medical debt and allow them to spend limited financial resources on other necessities, including food, clothing, or rent.

The project is also anticipated to improve health care access for residents who benefit from medical debt relief, because individuals who have medical debt are more likely to report being denied access to a health care provider because of an unpaid bill. Finally, we anticipate this project will reduce future accrual of medical debt among New Orleans residents, as the vendor will work with local hospitals and health care providers to improve their financial assistance policies to improve the ability of patients to manage their medical care costs and avoid future accrual of debt.  

Learn more

Outreach and Assistance
Fund Amount: $1,000,000

Projects in this fund:

Unsheltered Outreach

Assisting with the closure of homeless encampments by providing outreach services to unhoused individuals. Case managers will engage individuals and triage for basic needs and pursue plans that will end the individual's homelessness.

DepartmentOCD
Participating OrganizationTraveler's Aid
Project StatusMonitoring
Project ManagerAndrew Sensi

Sanitation Stations
Fund Amount: $120,000

Projects in this fund:

Health & Hygiene Needs for Vulnerable Populations

Funding will support continued access to sanitation infrastructure for unhoused populations, including maintenance of the City's eleven public health sanitation stations near encampments.

DepartmentNOHD
Participating OrganizationUnited Rentals
Project StatusClosing
Project ManagerAndrew Sensi

Service Coordination for Human Trafficking Victims
Fund Amount: $75,000

Projects in this fund:

OCJC Covenant House

Funding will create a Survivor Coordinator at Covenant House, whose role will be to cultivate and support a collaborative network of law enforcement, prosecution, nongovernmental, labor, and regulatory agencies, along with system and victim service providers to connect trafficking victims to critical services.

DepartmentOCJC
Project StatusProcurement
Project ManagerAll

Services for Justice-System Impacted Individuals
Fund Amount: $250,000

Projects in this fund:

Criminal Justice Intervention

Funding will provide support to organizations in enhancing the delivery of direct services to justice-system impacted individuals.

DepartmentOCJC
Participating OrganizationTBD
Project StatusProcurement
Project ManagerAmy Menelle

Sobering Center
Fund Amount: $4,000,000

Projects in this fund:

Sobering Center Operations

Funding supports the re-opening of City's sobering center, an alternative to detention for public intoxication.

DepartmentNOHD
Participating OrganizationOdyssey House of Louisiana (OHL)
Project StatusMonitoring
Project ManagerAmy Menelle

Project Highlight: Sobering Center

Project Status: Ongoing

The City of New Orleans Health Department, in partnership with Odyssey House Louisiana, has committed ARPA funds to support the ongoing operation of the Sobering Center, an endeavor that provides a safe space for intoxicated individuals to recover from immediate acute alcohol impairment under the care of trained staff. Entry to the Sobering Center is voluntary, and open to residents of all genders who are 18 years and older. The center and its mobile unit, the Sober Patrol, provides diversion from jails and emergency rooms and can connect individuals with additional care – medically supported detox and substance use disorder treatment.

  • The Sobering Center is a 25-bed facility.
  • Laundry services and lockers are available for guests' personal items. 
  • Snacks and drinks are offered to help replenish guests during their stay.
  • Guests are not allowed to bring alcohol or drug paraphernalia into the building, which must be discarded prior to admission.
  • The maximum length of stay is 8 hours, weather permitting.
  • The Sober Patrol will transport guests from the Sobering Center within reason.

Learn more

Diversion Supports diversion from jails and emergency rooms
Monitored Care Individuals will be monitored and released when appropriate
Access to Additional Care If needed, individuals can access additional care, including medically supported detox or substance use disorder treatment 
Transportation Available Individuals who need transportation to the Sober Center can call (504)439-5941 

Unhoused Populations
Fund Amount: $5,000,000

The city of New Orleans is using $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to reduce homelessness in New Orleans. 

The number of people experiencing homelessness in New Orleans dropped significantly since its peak in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Despite this improvement, the lack of affordable rental housing combined with the economic uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in the unhoused population. According to the 2023 Point-in-Time Count conducted by UNITY of Greater New Orleans, 553 people were sleeping on the street or in a location not intended for human habitation. That represented nearly a 50% increase from 2022. Overall, approximately 1200 individuals are unstably housed in the city of New Orleans. 

Recognizing that homelessness is an epidemic across the country, the federal government chose to allow municipalities to use their ARPA funds to address this crisis.   

Ending homelessness requires a collaborative effort across public and private partners. To that end the City of New Orleans is engaging with local homeless service providers, the New Orleans business community, health care system, and nationally recognized consultants to better coordinate a response to unsheltered homelessness. 

In addition to these projects the City of New Orleans is also using ARPA funding to support outreach and case management ($1M) as well as the Low Barrier Shelter($1M).  

Individual Projects 

Rapid Rehousing - $2.5M. Working with Unity of Greater New Orleans to close homeless encampments one by one and rehouse the individuals to subsidized housing offered by local landlords participating in the city's program. 

Shelter Support - $1.1M. Through a Notice of Funding Availability, the City of New Orleans is supporting the development and implementation of programs that assist in sheltering homeless New Orleans residents.  

Strategic Planning - $739K. The City of New Orleans has engaged a national consulting firm to engage policy makers, key stakeholders, and community members to (1) establish and oversee a short-term plan to successfully house the residents who occupy encampments in downtown New Orleans, and (2) develop a long-term plan to substantially reduce homelessness in the city of New Orleans. 

Project Administration - $761K. The remaining funds will be used in various ways to support unhoused populations, engage in outreach and case management, and administer the various projects. 

Projects in this fund:

Covenant House Shelter Renovations

Covenant House New Orleans will receive $155, for facility repairs and renovations, including improvements to their lobby and intake area.

DepartmentOHSS
Participating OrganizationCovenant House
Project StatusExecution
Project ManagerAndrew Sensi

Grace at the Green Light Water Fountains

Grace at the Green Light will receive $6, to install free public water fountains at strategic locations throughout the city. Providing 24/7 access to clean drinking water is particularly critical during the long New Orleans summer.

DepartmentOHSS
Participating OrganizationGrace at the Green Light
Project StatusExecution
Project ManagerAndrew Sensi

Harry Tompson Center Shelter Improvements

Harry Tompson Center will receive $2, for facility improvements, including new shower facilities, restrooms, and expanded laundry facilities.

DepartmentOHSS
Participating OrganizationHarry Tompson Center
Project StatusExecution
Project ManagerAndrew Sensi

Homeless Consulting

Clutch will engage policy makers, key stakeholders, and community members to (1) establish and oversee a short-term plan to successfully house the residents who occupy encampments in downtown New Orleans, and (2) develop a long-term plan to substantially reduce homelessness in the city of New Orleans.

DepartmentOHSS
Participating OrganizationClutch Consulting
Project StatusMonitoring
Project ManagerAndrew Sensi

Hotel Hope Case Managment Expansion

Hotel Hope will receive $11, for increased case management services. A family navigator will help unhoused women and children access critical resources.

DepartmentOHSS
Participating OrganizationHotel Hope
Project StatusExecution
Project ManagerAndrew Sensi

Louvis Tiny Home Pilot

Louvis will receive $55, for the construction of a duplex tiny home pilot. In addition to housing, residents will receive wrap-around support services.

DepartmentOHSS
Participating OrganizationLouvis
Project StatusExecution
Project ManagerAndrew Sensi

Ozanam Inn 24/7 Shelter Expansion

Ozanam Inn will receive $31, to increase services, perform maintenance, and hire additional security. The expansion of services will include 24-hour access, which provides the city with a second 24-hour shelter in addition to the Low-Barrier Shelter.

DepartmentOHSS
Participating OrganizationOzanam Inn
Project StatusExecution
Project ManagerAndrew Sensi

Rapid Rehousing

Working with Unity of Greater New Orleans to close homeless encampments one by one and rehouse the individuals to subsidized housing offered by local landlords participating in the city's program.

DepartmentOHSS
Participating OrganizationUnity
Project StatusExecution
Project ManagerAndrew Sensi

Women & Children's Shelter Case Management Expansion

New Orleans Women & Children's Shelter will receive $25, to enhance services for unsheltered homeless families. The funding will allow the agency to serve 5% more families through the grant period.

DepartmentOHSS
Participating OrganizationWomen & Children's Shelter
Project StatusExecution
Project ManagerAndrew Sensi

Vector Control Preparedeness
Fund Amount: $310,000

Projects in this fund:

Vector Control Preparedeness - Automatic DNA Extractor

Funding will be used to purchase an automatic DNA/RNA extraction device that will increase the number of samples our facility can process in orer to provide timely results to protect the citicens of the city of NEw ORleans from rodent and mosquito-borne pathogens.

DepartmentMTRCB
Participating OrganizationTBD
Project StatusProcurement
Project ManagerAndrew Sensi

Vector Control Preparedeness - BSL Lab

Funding will be used to establishm a level 3 biosafety laboratory. This crucial infrastructure is needed to protect human health and to condut widescale surveillance for the city.

DepartmentMTRCB
Participating OrganizationTBD
Project StatusProcurement
Project ManagerAndrew Sensi

Victims & Survivors Assistance NOFA
Fund Amount: $100,000

Projects in this fund:

Victims and Survivors Assistance

Funding will provide support to community-based organizations in enhancing the delivery of direct services to underserved survivors of crime.

DepartmentOCJC
Participating OrganizationTBD
Project StatusProcurement
Project ManagerAmy Menelle