Homelessness In New Orleans Has Dropped By 85 Percent Since Katrina

An amazing turnaround.

Homelessness in New Orleans has taken a turn for the better as homelessness is down by 85 percent, the AP reports. 

The amount of people on the streets reached an all-time high of 11,619 after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2007. But UNITY of Greater New Orleans, a group of organizations banding together to combat homelessness, have worked tirelessly to reduce that number — and succeeded. 

"That is a spectacular reduction," Martha J. Kegel, UNITY's executive director, told AP.

The organization credits government aid as a huge factor in getting people off the streets. 

But they're not the only ones to help pitch in. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr
U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr

Brad Pitt's Make It Right program has also built homes for those in need in New Orleans. Not only do they provide shelter, but they're eco-friendly as well. 

So far the program has built 109 homes at a cost of $26.8 million

Still, the fight to end homelessness in the U.S. is not nearly over. It's an epidemic that doesn't need a national disaster to exasperate: More than 25 percent of the U.S. homeless population are mentally ill and 35 percent are families with children

Utah in particular has taken alternative steps to help get people back on their feet including its recent amnesty program, in which petty crimes committed by the homeless have the chance to be dropped. The state, along with New Orleans, is paving the way to combat homelessness bit by bit. 

The rest of the country should follow suit. 

(H/T: The Huffington Post)