By Edwin Crayton
Not long ago, a young mom and her two children were homeless and sleeping in a park. Sounds like something you’d see in New York City. But that family was right here in town. They got in touch with the Natchitoches Coalition on Homelessness and now that family is off the street. Such success stories are why Monday, May 13, 2019, Modern Woodmen of America honored Founder Helen Obioha and the work of the Natchitoches Coalition on Homelessness. Over a casual pizza dinner, a few dozen invited guests listened as the Coalition shared its goals which include creating a “transition house” to help homeless people get off the street.
The organization is growing and looking for someone to donate a building or space to house the transition facility which will be a main tool for the organization. When a homeless person or family comes to the Coalition they can expect to get help finding housing, mental help assistance or/and food. Like some in Natchitoches Helen Obioha said she was unaware of the homeless problem locally. She grew up in Natchitoches, then moved to Detroit where she was of course aware of homelessness. She returned to Natchitoches and began working at the Louisiana School. It was there that someone told her about some homeless people they were helping. She also got involved and eventually her interest in the issue led to the founding of the group. Debra Farris who is also a leader of the group spoke about the need to make the public aware of the homeless problem and encouraged people to join the efforts to help those in need. She mentioned an upcoming Pancake Breakfast, June 1, at First Baptist Amulet, 9am to 12 noon. It will be a fundraiser. People will get a breakfast meal for $5 with sides.
Those interested in helping or in getting more information should call Helen Obioha at 313-296-3128.
Photo: Mary Squyres with Modern Woodmen of America honors Helen Obioha of Natchitoches Coalition on Homelessness.