Houston Mayor Announces New Homeless Initiatives

Houston's mayor unveils a six-point plan to create more housing for the city's homeless population, even temporary camps around the city.

Mayor Sylvester Turner is asking the community and City Council to help identify locations for temporary outdoor shelters and for feeding the hungry.

“The city is pursuing creation of one or more secure and professionally managed covered outdoor spaces with restroom facilities where up to 75 individuals could stay temporarily,” he said Thursday.

The mayor also is pushing an anti-panhandling campaign and ordinance against setting up tents on public property.

“Even with everything we're doing, there will still be people, and I don't want to say choose to stay on the streets, but there will still be people who will be on our streets because of their status,” said Turner, referring to those with mental illness who may not realize what options are available.

The city has been slowly creating permanent housing.  Its already helped people like Rosenaldo Garcia, who had been homeless for 40 years.

“I'm still adapting, I'm still trying to retrain the way I think, a lot of things,” said Garcia.  “But now I have a place of my own and new outlook on life, and for the first time I really am excited.”

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