District 10 task force takes initiative to fight homeless problem in area

Task force provides resources to the homeless

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SAN ANTONIO – Two brothers and a friend were found living in a homeless camp between the parking lot of a Lowe’s and Carmax along Interstate 35 and O'Connor Road on the Northeast Side.  

Diana Kenny said the brothers were young and open to getting off of the streets.

Kenny is part of the District 10 Homeless Task Force, which is made up of community members who want to do something about solving the panhandling problem in that area.

“They had a set-up, a couch, pieces of lawn furniture, litter, lots of debris from food they had been eating,” she said. “They look like they had been here quite a while.”

It was just one of the many stories she heard when she and other volunteers set out to scour the areas where the homeless congregate in District 10. In just a couple of hours, the group located 27 people, but Kenny thinks it’s just a small sample and there are hundreds more people who need help.

“I was amazed when someone would point out abandoned camps or places where it was clear where people had been living. That was surprising to see how close they are to residential communities,” she said.

Many camps are located near areas that provide access to items that homeless people can use, such as hardware stores and thrift stores, where clothing and donations are left behind.

When a KSAT crew returned to one of the camps, it had already been cleaned, with most of the trash piled up and the bushes cut.

But other camps remained active. Kenny’s group offered the people they found some hygiene products and warm clothing. 

The next step for the task force is figuring out a solution to help the people and educate the public on why they should not offer people money.

“Not to give money and not to encourage any kind of panhandling, because that does not help long term,” Kenny said. “People need to reach out to Haven for Hope, so they can meet with them to offer them more long-term solutions.”

On Jan. 25, 2018, there will be a citywide Point in Time count of the homeless. This is part of a national event set up to get a count of what the homeless problem looks like in the U.S.

About the Author:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.