Fenced-Off Parking Lot at the New Orleans Mission

It was another hot and muggy early summer day in New Orleans, so I was a bit of a mess by the time I got to campus for class this morning. I dropped off some paperwork with an administrator who told me she wants to ride her bike, but she just can’t stand feeling like, you know–(insert gesture at me)–that. Fair enough, fair enough. But I actually love that warm-all-over feeling you get after a brisk short ride in our thick, sweaty air. Fortunately, I am able to ride, and she doesn’t have to. I was singing a slightly different tune a few hours latter as I stood under the Pontchartrain Expressway overpass at St. Charles, watching the rain come down in buckets. It wouldn’t be so bad except for my darn glasses! Once they’re rained, they’re useless. After it cleared up I continued my ride to meet R. for some more racquetball, and I got to ride home in the slightly cooler twilight air. I stopped at the overpass on Baronne, where I took this picture of that beautiful church against the post-storm sky, the New Orleans Mission to the left. Those barricades, though, those are fairly new. You see, The Mission can only provide space for around 150 folks a night. But there are thousands of homeless people in New Orleans, the highest per capita in the entire nation. So people would often gather in the parking lot to sleep. But now it’s blocked off. I saw quite a few people under that same overpass, just to the right of that split in the road. Complicated stuff, but barricades around that parking lot will not make that stuff go away. As the sign says, we all need a place to call home.

3 thoughts on “Fenced-Off Parking Lot at the New Orleans Mission

  1. The city has also posted ‘No littering/no loitering’ signs. The lot in question isn’t owned by the Mission so the barricades were probably put up to prevent trespass and the attendant liability issues.

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