Full Resource Name:
Region IV: Lafayette-Acadiana CoC
P.O. Box 3926
Lafayette, LA 70502
Homeless providers from eight parishes came together in 1991 to address the escalating problem of homelessness in Lafayette and the surrounding rural areas. When HUD introduced the "Continuum of Care" process in 1995, the discussion group converted to an active coalition working in collaboration to obtain funding to assist both the homeless and those needing affordable housing. The resulting group incorporated as the Acadiana Regional Coalition on Homelessness and Housing, Inc., (ARCH).
By the end of 1997, ARCH members had built over 600 affordable housing units in 10 separate projects. This effort included a total investment of approximately $12 million in HOME funds and bond financing arranged by the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency (LHFA) as well as private funding. Additionally, five provider members of ARCH received funding from the HUD 1997 SuperNOFA to provide housing and supportive services for the homeless in the eight-parish area. The services to be provided will include 20-hour per day child care, a child care/respite center with medical facilities, and an intake facility that will screen participants for correct placement to one of 35 agencies through a psycho/social interview.
ARCH has become one of the few effective grassroots, private, non-profit rural coalitions in the nation and is the only one in the State of Louisiana. Not only has it secured McKinney Act funding for the homeless, but it has also become a focal point for housing, homelessness, transportation, health care, and chronic poverty advocacy efforts in the region. Not only has it brought together the providers of housing and supportive services for the homeless, but also is collaborating with the local hospitals to provide medical care for underserved children and the City of Lafayette to ensure that its mass transit is routed in accordance
with the needs of its low income residents. ARCH is a key example of the results that can be achieved through collaboration, even in some of the most rural areas of the country.