At the beginning of the year, Houston's mayor publicly challenged homeless agencies to find homes for 500 chronic homeless people from March through August. Now, he's announced the results.
Mayor Sylvester Turner said despite federal grant challenges and Hurricane Harvey 548 chronically homeless people now have a permanent place to live, thanks to Houston's Homeless Initiative.
“We do it to transform the lives of our fellow Houstonians, and because we recognize that every life has value, every life is important. And quite frankly, ‘but fore the grace of God, there go I’,” said Turner.
Jose Contero was homeless for 13 years.
“It’s been a struggle. I just want to get my life back together and get back into the working field, like everyone else,” said Contero.
For the past four years, Contero's been working on getting a permanent place to live.
Following Hurricane Harvey more housing is needed for those who are newly homeless.
“If we don’t get resources into our city, quick, fast and in a hurry, the number of people on our streets will increase, and these will be people directly impacted from Harvey,” said Turner.
He said Congress needs to send money. He just wrote state officials asking for money to tie them over until the federal government sends funds.
Still 1,100 more homeless need permanent housing; there are more homeless out there they don’t know about; while at the same time keep others from becoming homeless.
Each of the following organizations received a proclamation honoring yesterday as "The Way Home" day:
The AIDS Foundation Houston
Coalition for the Homeless
Corporation of Supportive Housing
The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD
Harris County Community Services
Harris County Sheriff's Homeless Outreach Team
HPD Homeless Outreach Team
The Houston Housing Authority
Northwest Assistant Ministries
New Hope Housing
Star of Hope
Temenos Community Development Corporation
The Salvation Army
SEARCH Homeless Services, Inc.
U.S. Department of Veterans Administration
The Women's Home