SAN ANTONIO – Rebecca Tadefa is one of several taxpayers who showed up to the City of San Antonio’s first Homeless Strategic Plan community forum Monday.
Tadefa said she felt the city needed to have more compassion when dealing with people who are homeless. She said she hopes something will come from the many meetings that are being held.
“I am optimistic because I cannot afford not to be,” she said. “I think that if we give up, then nothing is ever gonna happen.”
Community members across the county are frustrated with the homeless population encroaching their once-safe neighborhoods and plazas.
Jeroen Zilema, from the Dellview Area Neighborhood Association, said residents are dealing with homeless people “breaking into vacant homes to find a place to stay.”
“You see them in our shopping center, and we can’t get rid of them,” he said.
He said programs and services need to be moved out of downtown and into other parts of the community to offer the homeless help.
Residents say they want a solution for the homeless people who don’t want the help and won’t leave their addictions to enter into programs like Haven For Hope.
The City of San Antonio says homelessness is a complex issue, which is why officials contracted California-based company Homebase to take a look at the current problem, system and programs with a fresh set of eyes and come up with better solutions.
The city currently spends $15 million per year on programs that help with housing for families, programs and Haven for Hope. It is paying Homebase nearly $130,000 to conduct the study and come up with a solution by March.
Several other meetings are planned for the community to express concerns and offer possible solutions. Click here to see the list of meetings.