Addressing the homeless problem in downtown Lafayette

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- The homeless situation in downtown Lafayette has been a big topic of discussion for a while.

What can be done to help business owners run a successful business?  And what can be done to help get the homeless get back on their feet? All good questions, but there is not one simple answer to both. 

Jaci Russo with Russo Advertising Agency off says the issue downtown has progressively worsened over the past few years. 

“Last three years have been getting worse, and their are more homeless downtown.  Clients say they are nervous because of panhandlers.”

Here at Carpe Diem they are taking a compassionate approach to what can work best for both parties. 

“We don’t know their backstories.”

In places like Parc Sans Souci, downtown signs are posted that say no sleeping or camping.

From those who have been homeless on the streets of Lafayette, they say there are few options.

“Unless you know of a place where you can throw up a tent and some tarps you are out of luck.  More shelters for men that women.”

Jaci Russo believes local law enforcement ultimately holds the key to identifying the difference between the criminal and the needy.

“Police Officers first line of defense on how to determine who needs jail and who needs help.”

Jeff Horchak, KLFY News 10. 

The Lafayette Police Department told KLFY that in the next few weeks they are planning on meeting with some of the organizations that help the needy and homeless In hopes of  trying to get a better hold on the situation, and hopefully find some solutions for all involved.

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