SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio leader is calling on area faith-based organizations to help tackle the homeless problem in the Alamo City.
District 6 Councilman Greg Brockhouse invited about 100 churches to a meeting Tuesday, with about 15 answering the call to help.
“Homelessness requires care, compassion and love. That's why we reached out to the faith-based community,” Brockhouse said.
Brockhouse’s effort to unite resources was prompted by the death of a man during a cold December day.
“He crawled up on a car wash, never woke up again,” he said. “That’s not acceptable in any civilized society, especially in San Antonio. We can do better.”
Greg Goodrich, interim pastor for Under the Bridge Church, was invited to attend the meeting but could not because of a scheduled church event. He said he’s been in touch with area organizations and churches to improve the communication and spread the word about resources available.
“To be the church is to serve the homeless,” Goodrich said.
More than 100 people attend his church every week. They are fed, clothed and spiritually cared for, Goodrich said. The resources are made possible with the help of 60 other groups and churches in the city. But Goodrich thinks San Antonio could take the lead in uniting all the resources across the city and have a couple of meetings a year to share information.
“We can hear what the city's priorities are, what they want to do,” Goodrich said. “They can listen what we are currently doing. Maybe all of us can together can come up with something to really tackle the homeless problem.”
Other city district offices are working independently to tackle the homeless problem in their area. Brockhouse said there is a difference between homelessness and panhandling, another issue with which the city is dealing.
During the last homeless count, about 2,743 were counted as not having a stable home. The numbers for this year have not been released.