According to Reckdahl, the New Orleans’s police arrests for homeless “crimes” such as panhandling and sleeping in parks had become especially aggressive this past summer. Then in June, Dabdoub proposed his idea for solving the city’s chronic homelessness with what he says is “less tent city, more ‘homeless sanctuary.'”
Dabdoub intends the tent city as a tempotary shelter that would be followed in one to three years by a real shelter.
Tent cities have been successful in other cities such as Los Angeles, but they have been run by nonprofits or the homeless themselves. Homeless advocates are skeptical about people’s willingness to use the New Orleans facility if the police are running it, and contemplate police bringing homeless there after picking them up from the street. Others have said that a tent city “lacks dignity,” and other alternatives should be sought.