Many, many residents have realized that the situation on Esplanade has grown beyond casual use by transients or one that fits under the usual homeless population issues City Hall continues to tackle.
The illegal activity is constant, as are the camps. The city has said that one reason that they cannot remove these squatters is because of their animals and so as a result, the number of unlicensed and untrained animals has also grown in these camps. I have personally seen animals that look sick and are so unsocialized that every person or animals passing by is in danger.
I am afraid to walk there and am also afraid to help remove any litter on my travels because I may be targeted or even hurt by what I pick up.
We invite you to come take a walk one morning around 7 am to see the full effect of this issue.
It is clear to residents and regular passersby that this is a separate and as important safety concern as the ongoing homeless issues that our taxpayer resources are used for and so it is clear to me that a separate response is needed by NOPD and City Hall. It makes no sense to any of us that City Hall is willing to spend millions on a poorly thought out “security” plan for Bourbon Street while letting the residential part of the Quarter be held hostage by the drug dealers and voluntarily unhoused on Esplanade.
Please spend time on this issue now.