Meet Telleus, who lives at our Duvernay Residence, a Single Room Occupancy (permanent affordable housing, case management & employment services for formerly homeless people in recovery) facility.
Originally from the Westbank, Telleus’s life was turned upside down by Hurricane Katrina. Uprooted from his home, he moved from place to place – Tennessee, Baton Rouge, and the 9th Ward of New Orleans, where he found himself homeless.
Telleus decided to take charge of his situation and, after treatment, moved to our Duvernay Residence in December 2008, where he has lived happily since.
The Duvernay Residence has made a lasting positive impact on Telleus’s life. In his words, it’s given him “a sense of having his own place, taking care of himself, being responsible for his bills, and is a safer, less chaotic lifestyle than living on the street”.
“When I walk in through the door, I feel a sense of relief”, he says of life at Duvernay.
Telleus is gainfully employed as a tow truck driver and has big plans to start his own hauling business. He’s made a lot of progress since the storm left him high and dry, and we’re proud to have him as one of our residents.
“Volunteers of America put the life back in me” says Louis Brown (pictured), an Uptown New Orleans native who lives at our Duvernay Residence, part of our Single Room Occupancy program. SRO offers permanent affordable housing, case management, & employment services for formerly homeless people in recovery.
Louis struggled with homelessness and addiction after returning home in 2008. Turned away by other agencies, he began attending meetings at Duvernay, and, inspired by what he observed, decided to get clean so he could move in. The Volunteers of America family opened their hearts and doors to Louis, and he’s been a resident of Duvernay for over a year.
Louis is now gainfully employed and working towards his engineer’s license. He recommends anyone to Volunteers of America if they’re serious about recovery. “Volunteers of America helped me to grow into being a man….I’ve learned independence and I live the lessons Volunteers of America teaches”.
Louis is an inspiration to anyone and everyone with the desire to conquer their addictions and live a healthy, positive life.
Thousands of persons who are homeless walk the streets of New Orleans. It’s hard to know how to help. Understanding that about 40 percent of homeless struggle with substance abuse can make things seem more complex.
Volunteers of America has a permanent solution with our two SROs (Single Room Occupancy). We put our 100-plus years of experience in helping persons with these problems to work in a contemporary state-of-the-art program that provides permanent, affordable housing for men and women in recovery.
The SROs are modeled on Volunteers of America facilities in other cities which have proven to give these persons the best chance of recovering, getting off the streets and living productive lives. They save lives and change lives.
The Duvernay Residence, 1801 Canal St., reopened in 2006 after suffering extensive hurricane damage. It houses 70 and originally opened in 2002. Also damaged was the Tulane Avenue SRO, 3901 Tulane Ave., which has housed 80 since 1997 and reopened in March 2007.
Both SROs are part of Volunteers of America’s Coming Back Home initiative to supply affordable housing and boost the recovery of New Orleans.
• A safe place to recover. Skilled staff and facilities provide a stable environment to support continued recovery. Persons who have been in recovery for six months may apply to live in the SROs.
• A permanent place to live. Residents may stay as long as it takes to turn their lives around. The SRO has affordable, furnished, private rooms, with bathrooms and kitchens nearby. Residents prepare their own meals. Communal living areas are place to visit and enjoy group activities.
• Life-changing support. A variety of support services — family reunification to case management — supports independence. The staff helps residents stay in recovery while boosting self-confidence. All acquire job skills or needed education.
• A way to rejoin the community. Homelessness and substance abuse isolates persons in despair. The SROs provide an opportunity to live — perhaps for the first time — in a supportive, caring community. As residents gain confidence, the staff helps them become part of the larger community.
To learn more about applying for residence in the SROs or volunteering to help, email us or call 504.299.1260. Volunteers can share their life skills or hobbies or help with other duties.