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Baton Rouge officials work to move homeless residents from downtown

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BATON ROUGE- Homelessness has been a perpetual issue for much of the city's history. Advocates say new people end up on the street all the time.

An estimated 80 percent of people who go homeless in Baton Rouge get placed in permanent housing within six months, according to homelessness advocates.

Helping the remaining population is more challenging. They often have mental health or drug addiction issues.

A new coalition of advocates organized by Mayor Sharon Weston Broome now has funding to focus on those who stay on the street, particularly in the downtown area. 

It's a delicate process that sometimes involves the police.

"They're trying to find places for those guys to go, they're trying deal with that issue as best they can," said L'Jean McKneely with Baton Rouge Police.

There's also a major move coming for the dozens of homeless residents living under the Trevor Sims Bridge on North Boulevard. A developer plans to soon build a fence around the bridge as part of a revitalization of the area.

Advocates are working to find understanding landlords willing to take on the residents. The goal is to make a further dent in the city's homeless problem.

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