CAAH: CAPITAL AREA ALLIANCE FOR THE HOMELESS
CAAH has been registered as a Louisiana non-profit corporation since 1998 and is designated by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) entity. CAAH served as the Continuum of Care for the Louisiana parishes of Ascension, East & West Baton Rouge, East & West Feliciana, Iberville, and Pointe Coupee. From its inception, CAAH members have worked together as a community to strategically enhance services available to individuals who become homeless by coordinating resources available through non-profit organizations and governmental entities.
CAAH partners provide Emergency Shelter, Transitional Housing, and Permanent Supportive Housing for chronically homeless individuals, persons with a range of disabilities, and families experiencing homelessness for the first time. In addition to housing, CAAH and our partners offer a range of services that include outreach to the homeless, behavioral health referrals, substance abuse treatment, veterans services, life skills training, job training/placement, youth shelters, and literacy/GED classes. Since 1996 CAAH agencies have received over $20,000,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s McKinney-Vento Supportive Housing Program.
The first McKinney-Vento award included funding for Options Foundation’s “Project Shines,” St. Anthony’s House, O’Brien House Main Street Shelter, and the Transitional Housing Program at Salvation Army. These projects served clients suffering from mental illness, substance abuse, and HIV. Each of these projects and agencies still serve the homeless in Baton Rouge. Subsequent years saw funding for outreach to the homeless (Bishop Ott Day Program for Women and the VOA Drop In Center), homeless families (Urban Restoration’s “Home Sharing” and VOA’s “Housing Families First”), runaway youth (Youth Oasis), and formerly incarcerated (Catholic Charities’ Joseph Homes).
CAAH and its partners continue to address homelessness and its root causes. CAAH has responded to the shortage of affordable housing in Baton Rouge. CAAH and it’s partners have moved into the housing development arena with over 150 units either completed or under construction. CAAH and it’s partners responded to the Hurricanes of 2005 and Flooding of 2016 by re-housing many evacuees. Nine agencies received Homeless Prevention Rehousing Program funds through the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act and are now working to alleviate housing crises that have occurred as a result of the 2008 recession.
Another major accomplishment is the implementation of our Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) which became operational on November 1, 2004. We now have a tool that enables us to document the number of homeless persons and the services they received. This HUD mandated system prevents duplication of services and provides data for the national Annual Homeless Assessment Report that goes to Congress.
The Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless constantly seeks to improve its efforts. This led to the development of a One Stop Homeless Services Center which opened on November 10, 2011. Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless and it’s partner providers welcome and offer services to approximately 100 homeless clients daily offering programs to address the barriers to housing. Our state of the art facility streamlines the process of re-housing homeless families and individuals by locating a broad range of services at one location.