Best Practices Fact Sheet (

H. C. Covington (
Thu, 12 Nov 1998 03:40:24 -0600

             HUD Blue Ribbon Practices in Housing and Community Development

            John J. Gunther Awards

            Lafayette, LA

Category: Continuum of Care for the Homeless


Acadiana Regional Coalition on Homelessness

Program Description

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.


In addition to the $12 million HOME-assisted housing development, ARCH
received a total of $887,595 in funding from the HUD homeless funding
competition, the first funding received by the coalition, and which will be
administered by the Lafayette Catholic Service Centers as the lead agency.
This homeless program funding leverages significant other federal and
private resources.

Award Winning Achievements

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.


    Sonny Covington or Justin Green
    Acadiana Regional Coalition on Homelessness and Housing, Inc.
    Post Office Drawer 3444
    Lafayette, LA 70501
    Telephone: (318) 235-7005
    Fax: (318) 235-7602

    HUD Field Office Rep Name: Sandra H. Warren
    Field Office: Louisiana State
    Telephone: (504) 589-7212
    Fax: (504) 589-4089