Northshore Probe: Multi-Housing on the Northshore
As part of an area-wide PROBE (People, Residents, Opportunities, Barriers to the Gospel, and Evangelism Avenues) we conducted a region wide study of multi-housing residents on the Northshore. Thankful for Gary Dennis for his research on this project. Get the full report on Multi-Housing on the Northshore from our 2011 Probe here.
The purpose of this study was to identify major needs and outreach opportunities to people living in Multi-Housing facilities along the I-12 corridor from Slidell to Albany, and, to suggest possible strategies for doing outreach among this people group. We sought to answer the following questions:
- Where do people live in multi-housing units/complexes?
- What kinds of multi-housing units/complexes do people live in?
- What kinds of people live in the different multi-housing units/complexes? (socioeconomic & ethnicity)
- How many people live in multi-housing units/complexes?
- What particular needs exist among those in each multi-housing unit/complex?
- What kinds of strategies might be needed to minister in and to those in the various multi-housing units/complexes on the Northshore?
Multi-housing units/complexes, for the purpose of this study, refers to those apartment complexes and mobile home parks where multiple families live in such close proximity that they share identity as a people group who tend to live in common types of housing. Only those complexes with a minimum of 20 families were included in this study.
What kinds of multi-housing units do people live in and how many people live in multi-housing units?
MOBILE HOMES. Tangipahoa Parrish has 9,754 mobile homes. St. Tammany Parrish has 8,632. Livingston Parrish has 11,593 mobile homes. The total number of mobile homes in these parishes is 29,679. Mobile homes make up 15% of the total number of housing units in the three parish area (196,899).
It should be noted that not all mobile homes are in trailer courts or parks. The researcher has not been able to establish a percentage of mobile homes existing in parks as opposed to those not in parks.
APARTMENT/CONDOS. Tangipahoa Parrish has 6,342 housing units in multi-unit structures, or about 12.3% of the housing units in the Parrish. In St. Tammany Parrish, 9,874 or 10.1 % of the housing units exist in multi-unit structures. Livingston Parrish has 1,716 housing units in multi-unit structures or 3.6% of the total housing units. Altogether, the Northshore area has 17,932 housing units in multi-unit structures or 9.1% of the total housing units in the three parish area.
The combined total of mobile home units and housing units existing in multi-unit structures equals 47,611 housing units, a sum equivalent to an entire city. If the researcher has rightly interpreted the data and correct done the math, 24% of the housing units in the three parish area are either mobile homes or in multi-unit structures.
Significant groups of people live in nursing homes (1,849 tri-parishes), college dorms (1,300 Tangipahoa), and institutionalized settings (3,857 tri-parishes). Parish prisons also house significant populations.
What kinds of people live in the different kinds of multi-housing units?
Statistical analysis and windshield surveys both reveal a variety of people type in the various multi-housing communities. Multi-housing communities include significant populations of:
- Students… 18,833 college students live in the three parishes. Some apartment complexes are almost exclusively college apartments, especially in the Hammond area around SLU. Of the almost 8,000 college students living in Tangipahoa Parish, only 1,300 live in college dormitories.
- Singles….St. Tammany Parish has 13,632 one-person homes.
- Couples…St. Tammany Parrish has over 20,000 housing units with two-person families.
- Seniors…some duplex apartments are for Seniors Adults. Some mobile home parks such as Shady Lane near Slidell are restricted to those 55 and over. Other parks do not have restrictions on age, but windshield surveys revealed significant numbers of senior adults living in mobile homes.
- The poor… windshield surveys of several mobile home parks revealed evidence of varying degrees of poverty. Some parks have evidence of extreme poverty.
- The Affluent. Slidell and Mandeville have multiple Lakeside condo units.
- Children…Most mobile home parks have large numbers of children.
- Diversity…Although some multi-housing complexes and mobile home parks tend to have higher concentrations of one ethnic group, many had signs of diverse populations of Hispanic, white and black people.
What kinds of needs exist among people living in multi-housing units?
Some of the needs that are evident from windshield surveys.
- CHILDREN’S MINISTRY
- Ministry to those who are addicted or affected by addictions.
- Ministry to the disabled. *Almost 70,000 persons in the three parish area are listed as having disabilities.
- After-school programs for children. The percentage of parents who commute to work is high throughout the area.
- Ministry to the poor. One in five people in Tangipahoa Parish lives below the poverty level.
A few basics for getting started with Multi-Housing Ministry:
1. Get to know the Management. Ask them, “How can a church help?” Then get ready to respond to needs.
2. Think Incarnationally. How can we bring church/VBS/Sunday School/etc. to them?
3. Look for needs. Be creative. Start Small. Ideas: Block Parties on site, beautification projects, outreach to the vulnerable (elderly, widows, single moms), activities for kids, benevolence ministry.