SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio City Council has approved a contract with a San Francisco firm to form a homeless strategic plan.
The Center for Common Concerns/Homebase will be paid $128,898 to meet with stakeholders and formulate a plan of action by the end of March 2020. It will be up to the city to put the plan into action.
District 10 Councilman Clayton Perry was an outspoken critic of the city’s selection of the California firm and the decision to hire a company outside the city to deal with the problem.
“We have that expertise in-house right now on staff. We have some wonderful staff that are doing great work out in the community, not only on the staff, but our faith-based community, nonprofits,” he said. “Yes, we have gaps out there, but we know where those gaps are.”
Still, he voted to approve the contract and says his constituents expect good results from the firm.
Pastor Greg Goodrich, who runs Church Under the Bridge, said the city lacks a proper coordination among nonprofits, government agencies and religious groups, many who are already doing the work but are not being included in the conversation.
“Many hands make the load light, you know, and that's what we're trying to get across to the city and the county,” Goodrich said. “These are hands that we're bringing into this to help the city with this problem. Don't snatch our hands away.”
Haven for Hope CEO Kenny Wilson said he helped write the proposal by the city to hire a firm.
“I think it’s great to get outside views. We can’t get too close to the problem,” he said. “To get someone else to get an objective view, we support.”
He said he thinks existing organizations are doing a great job to coordinate help to the homeless. Haven for Hope has 184 nonprofit organizations that help coordinate help to those who live on its campus.
“I think we have a great spirit of collaboration. I think we do a good job of that. Can we do better? Absolutely,” Wilson said.
Homebase could not be reached for comment.