City ready to renew efforts to help chronic homeless
Update: City council approved the money for Prospect's Courtyard on 9/15/2016.
SAN ANTONIO – While you were asleep in your bed last night, hundreds of people including children and veterans slept on the street.
The city is now ready to renew its efforts to find them homes. Turning lives around begins with getting people off the streets.
Sean Dillard sleeps under a highway near downtown.
"I've been out here struggling on the streets, sleeping on the streets,” he says. “And it's real hard because you don't ever know when it's going to rain or not."
Day and night, teams visit homeless camps and encourage residents to seek shelter in a safer place: Haven For Hope’s Prospects Courtyard.
"We have people in the Courtyard who are looking for a better way of life,” Haven’s CEO Kenny Wilson says.
He says people come to the Courtyard for a hot meal or a place to sleep.
"They're here because of something that happened, and we're trying to get over that hump,” Wilson says.
Help comes in the form of “navigation services,” staff and volunteers ready to connect the homeless with benefits like counseling and medical care.
"We found that navigation from peers, from people who have been there are so effective at helping individuals find the route to their next step,” Wilson says.
This past year, the city gave $150,000 to help the navigators. This coming year, another $150,000 is set aside in the proposed budget, specifically targeting veterans and the chronic homeless.
"This is an area where maybe they feel most comfortable,” city of San Antonio spokesperson Roland Martinez says. “It's an open courtyard for homeless folks, for veterans, chronic homeless. And it's our responsibility to reach out to them and provide them services."
City council will approve the final budget in three weeks. Click here to read the proposed budget and make your voice heard.
By EMILY BAUCUM