New Orleans begins homeless sweep Friday morning

City cleans up homeless area under Pontchartrain Expressway

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Crews will begin a sweep through homeless areas in New Orleans Friday morning under the Pontchartrain Expressway.

Fliers were posted earlier in the week warned the homeless to move out before Friday or risk losing their possessions.

The city said the sweep is part of an effort to keep this area clean and to help homeless people transition into stable housing.

Fliers showed up across the city Tuesday morning under U.S. 90, the I-10 on-ramp near University Medical Center and I-10 at Bullard Avenue in New Orleans East.

The city's notice also includes information for homeless people who are seeking shelter or help from outreach workers.

According to Unity of Greater New Orleans, they believe there's about 1,600 homeless on the streets on any given night.

While that's still a large number, activists point out the city has been able to reduce the homeless population by 81 percent since 2009.

The city plans to open the low-barrier shelter later this year. Officials hope that shelter will serve as another way to get people off the streets.

That environment will have fewer "rules," – which is something officials say would appeal to those who have thus far refused help.

During the sweep, the sanitation department will power wash the area and remove garbage and debris.

The city says cleanups in the area are done several times a month.

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