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Changing strategies to fight area homelessness - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Changing strategies to fight area homelessness

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SHREVEPORT, La. -

Area homeless organizations are changing strategies.

HOPE for the Homeless brought in internationally-recognized homelessness expert Iain De Jong to help northwest Louisiana agencies get on the same page.

The goal is to move to a housing first model. This would allow a chronically homeless person to skip expensive programs in shelters and transitional housing in favor of permanent housing.

De Jong has worked with 50 cities across the US adapt to the new assessment model.

Organizers say change is hard but necessary.

"If we're going to actually end chronic homelessness, we will have to change the way we do things," says Christa Pazzaglia, HOPE for the Homeless. "This is the beginning of that."

More than 70 people attended the two day conference from groups including Easter Seals, Volunteers of America, and the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.

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