Homeless Connections Hotline becomes lifeline for those without shelter

‘It’s a vulnerable population that we want to ensure stays healthy and also has their basic needs met.’

San Antonio – The City of San Antonio has launched a Homeless Connections Hotline to help the street homeless find the resources they need during the coronavirus pandemic.

Patrick Steck, with the City of San Antonio Department of Human Services, says there are a lot of resources the city is balancing out in an effort to help the low income and poor in the community during this crisis.

“It's a vulnerable population that we want to ensure stays healthy and also has their basic needs met, because we're all experiencing this virus in a different way,” he explains.

Since the hotline launched on Thursday, April 9, he says about 75 calls have been taken at the call center. He says many of those calling are facing unique circumstances and they’re in need of direction.

“A lot of calls are folks who have been living maybe week-to-week in a hotel. Now, their income has dried up and they don’t have a place to go. So there’s some concern for sure,” he explained.

Quick action for alternative resources were needed after several shelters shut down their intake center as an effort to control the population numbers and reduce the spread of the virus.

The city has partnered with several non-profits and churches to provide the basic necessities like food, hygiene kits and sanitation stations through several Resource Hubs. Since the start of the month, more than 400 homeless individuals have been served through those hubs.

Travis Church Associate Pastor Gavin Rogers is one of those partners through Corazon Ministries.

“Getting the correct information out to the homeless population is really important. So working with organizations like San Antonio Regional Alliance for the Homeless or Haven for Hope, just to get the right information out to educate the homeless is one thing,” Rogers explains.

The agency encourages the community who wants to get involved to make financial contributions to the organizations involved or the San Antonio Food Bank.

The city does not yet have a dollar amount on how much the extra resources to help the homeless population will add up to but does say they are looking to get funding from the federal government.

The Homeless Connections Hotlline number is 210-207-1799 and it’s answered Monday-Friday during regular business hours.

Below is the list of agencies helping the city provide services.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.


About the Authors

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.

Before starting KSAT in 2017, Lee was a photojournalist at KENS 5, where he won a Lone Star Emmy in 2014 for Best Weather Segment. In 2009 and 2010 Lee garnered first-place awards with the Texas Association of Broadcasters for Best Investigative Series in College Station, as well as winning first place for Staff Photojournalism in 2011 at KBTX.

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