City Rounds Up French Quarter Transients


Homeless roundup
Photo Credit: Project NOLA

Updated at 3:49 pm CST

In a coordinated effort between the New Orleans Police Department, Orleans Parish Sherrif’s Office, the SPCA, and city sanitation workers, the homeless are being removed from the French Quarter, as the Mayor touts her recently passed $700 million budget in a press conference.

According to Project NOLA, a nonprofit organization focused on reducing crime throughout the city of New Orleans, NOPD is currently engaging people who are illegally living on the street throughout the French Quarter and arresting trespassers. The OPSO is transporting those individuals to jail via a paddy wagon stationed nearby. Animals owned by the homeless are being taken by the SPCA, and New Orleans Sanitation workers are removing anything else.

The action comes amidst widespread public debate on the growing New Orleans homeless population, and what some refer to as “gutter punks,” transient homeless who consider it to be a lifestyle choice.

According to a statement from Andy Cunningham, spokesperson for the New Orleans Police Department, this is not referred to internally as a “sweep,” or “roundup.” These are part of a regular series of “quality of life checks,” in which NOPD, OPSO, the SPCA, and the city organizations investigate complaints and claims by residents regarding homeless people blocking sidewalks or entryways, checking for weapons or other contraband, preventing aggressive solicitation, and making arrests where necessary. These actions aren’t new and are regularly funded by Sydney Torres’ French Quarter Task Force.

Cunningham states that the majority of the people affected by these checks are not resident homeless, but rather “travelers,” moving from place to place. Though the city offers outreach services to help, in most cases, this help is refused. Any animals taken by the SPCA are fed, bathed, provided with medical treatment, and are often returned to their owners once they have been released from custody.


Jenn Bentley is a writer and editor originally from Cadiz, Kentucky. Her writing has been featured in publications such as The Examiner, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, and others. When she’s not writing or editing, Jenn spends her time raising money for Extra Life and advocating for autism awareness. Be sure to check out her other articles and reports here.

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19 thoughts on “City Rounds Up French Quarter Transients

  1. How about using that money to rid this city of slum lords so that a person with an average income can live without fear of being screwed out of thousands and thousands of dollars only to end up on the street (or in jail now) while the slum lord gets to keep stealing and stealing hard working individuals’ money?

    1. Bitch, mind ya damn business.. People always wanna try to dictate where someone can live.. Go back to Europe with your ugly ass.. Fucking white people..

      1. Really. White people. You’re a racist and an idiot. Why is this a white person problem. Considering a majority of the politicians and the ones enforcing this are black too.. welcome to 2018 it’s not because you’re black it’s because you’re stupid.

  2. By all means, arrest the gutter punks. Get them out of New Orleans. But what is the city doing for the resident homeless occupying spaces in the Quarter? Those are the ones we should be helping to feed, clothe, and house. Gutter punks can go back to their mommies & daddies in Ohio or wherever they’re from.

  3. Many of “those people” don’t have families to go back to. In Ohio or anywhere else. I took in a girl last year, she was a young, full-blown schizophrenic. She needed meds and a bath. She had run away from her home when her caretaker, her uncle, tried to rape her. Her mom was dead, her father also had mental issues. Try to have some empathy.

    1. Go ahead and make excuses to cover your a$$es… everybody with a brain who actually gives a sh*t knows the truth. I WAS 1 OF “THOSE PEOPLE” JUST IN A DIFFERENT STATE… I KNOW HOW “THOSE PEOPLE” ARE ACTUALLY TREATED AND WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE “THOSE PEOPLE” REALLY ARE. And they are NOT the ones who are causing all the crime they’re being accused of, the so called weapons they are most likely talking about are probably knives which are used for MANY useful things when you’re homeless (including protecting yourself because of how many homeless people are attacked by those living inside), many animals are not liscenced due to the fact that they need the money to buy food and medicine for them and their animals, I’ve never been to New Orleans but if it’s like most places then the homeless are sought out by the police at night and woke up atleast 2-5 times a night so when they finally do get to sleep they are unable to wake up early enough to get out of everybody’s way. Yes, there are always gonna be homeless people who are just straight up d*cks…but has anybody ever considered that half the time it’s the people living inside that are the bigger d*cks just because they don’t want to see what can happen to them if they miss 1 rent payment or get laid off, ect.
      And seriously? Sending them to jail??? Do you realize that does nothing to solve the problem… well except maybe when it’s cold out (free food, shower, and a warm bed). Some homeless that get tickets and have money refuse to pay just so they can get a warrant and make sure they stay out of sight until it’s really cold… that way when it gets too cold they don’t have to worry about literally freezing to death.
      How ignorant and blind are people?
      ♦️ Harley

    2. I’m from NYC and was on the street for some time myself we have a big problem with homelessness too many of us choose the street bc believe ot or not it safer than many shelters. But to lock up people bc they dont have a home and take their dog who is probably the only real love they are given thats just wrong.

  4. Its because they are trying to make the place look safe for Chad and Heather during festival season. I’m curious as to where the money for this is coming from. Seeing as the city has very basic infrastructure needs that aren’t being met, and violent crime issues that 9 times out of 10 aren’t being addressed by NOPD in the actual neighborhoods. Yes, the last bunch of crusties we had were particularly bad, but this is a clear cut attempt at yuppifying the tourist destination for out of towners rather than an attempt to make things safer for the locals. That money could have been used far more productively.

  5. This is effectively the criminalization of homelessness. If you are homeless, your very existence is “illegal”. So disappointed in the lack of empathy in this community and in money-grabbing, fake as hell Cantrell. This makes me absolutely sick. “Quality of life check” my ass – no doubt about it this is a ROUNDUP.

    1. Why is it that no shelter is ever okay? Why is there always a reason why the homeless would rather be on the street than in public shelters? Why is it that someone that doesn’t have it together enough to have a home anywhere gets to decide to sleep on the porch to the house I’ve worked so hard to build?

      I’m more than willing to see some of my tax and personal charitable contributions go to feeding and housing the homeless. I’m unwilling to see my grandchild unable to go outside to play or come home because some ‘scary’ guy is sleeping on our porch; nor will I teach her that such guy ‘won’t hurt her’ when I don’t know if that is really the case.

  6. Sydney torres can rot in a horrible hell for all i care. ancaring piece of trash is what he is. really 700 million to lock then up..why not put that money into housing them or tickets back to where they live or maybe the people screaming get a job offer a job. the business owners telling them to move out of their doorways and get a job give them a job. probably will work harder than the hipster you have working for you right now complaining about getting up too early or staying too late ot not enough pay..and giving them tickets knowing damn well theyre not able to pay them just to make your quota.

  7. That terrified dog’s name is Potato. He and his dad live peacefully on Royal around the corner from my daughter. He is terrified when his dad goes into a store to buy food, and leaves him with friends for a few minutes. Imagine how they both feel tonight, separated, with all they have taken by sanitation. These are not the people hurting or scaring anyone. Those folks are still there. They just wander around the Quarter too much to be pinpointed.

  8. Criminalizing homeless people is the crime. Spend a night on the street and see how you like it. Maintaining a place to live Is hard without a decent job. Decent jobs are very hard to find in this town. Many people work two and three jobs to make it. What kind of a life is that?

    1. Most of who they are taking off the streets are street punks who harass tourist and local residents. Beg for money and threaten you if you dont give them any. Most are addicts of some kind. Herion, meth, etc. They are up all night and sleep on the sidewalks all day. They piss and shit in every crook and crannie they can find. They have a choice to go to shelters but refuse because they don’t want to abide by the rules. They have animals but can’t even take care of themselves. Their dirty, filty, smelly punks who chose to live this lifestyle. Resoures are available to help these people get jobs, medical treatment, housing, etc. They would rather hang their dirty harassing ass on the sidewalks of this beautiful city. Get a job or get your ass out of new orleans.

  9. I witnessed an arrest in front of cvs just off of Jackson square on nov. 29. We had walked by him about thirty minutes before. Not impeding flow on side walk. No soliciting, not harassing. Just a kid that looked to be about twenty sharing his sandwich with his dog. Came back through he was surrounded by nope, sheriff, and animal control to take his dog. I’m still haunted I didn’t go up and ask police why they were harassing my son. This kid was just trying to eat his lunch.

  10. There is no reason to coddle these kids who come here from all over the country just to panhandle, steal and use drugs all day. Give them no quarter and arrest them for everything until they decide to go home to mom and dad again. And make sure those dogs get back to whoever the gutters steal them from!

  11. I actually live in the French Quarter. I pass by these folks and engage them in conversation and consider many of them to be friends and neighbors. I know most of them by name. They are not the problem. Getting rid of them but allowing the weed candy people to stay? Something’s off in the priorities.

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