SAN ANTONIO – The City of San Antonio is now in its implementation phase of a five-year strategic plan to take on homelessness issues.
“We didn’t develop this on our own. It was community-driven from day one with community input meetings,” said Morjoriee White, the homeless administrator for the City of San Antonio’s Department of Human Services.
The strategic plan was developed by California-based nonprofit Homebase and presented last year.
White said one of the main recommendations of the plan was enhancing and expanding homeless street outreach. She said the city has been working to bring on a new team within the homeless division.
“We’ve contracted with a Haven for Hope, SAMMinistries, as well as Thrive Youth Center -- that group is specifically targeting youth, which is ages 18 to 24. And if you look at our Point in Time count, we did see an increase in youth homelessness,” White said.
Patrick Steck, the assistant director for the Department of Human Services, said everything they do is with one goal in mind.
“Everything that we do is all with a goal of stable housing for people who are experiencing homelessness so that it is brief and non-recurring,” Steck said.
Next week, the South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless, or SARAH, will be hosting a series of events focused on homelessness. The events are open to the public.
Officials will be sharing the latest Point in Time Count results, which come from an annual assessment of how many people in our community are experiencing homelessness.
“It tells us things like: ‘Is there an increase in certain populations, whether it’s veterans, whether it’s youth, whether it’s families? How many individuals are/or households are fleeing domestic violence?’” White said.
Next week, White will be presenting the recommendations from the strategic plan and the status of each item at SARAH’s event.
The City of San Antonio also has a homeless connections hotline to assist people experiencing homelessness. Callers can receive counseling and education regarding available resources. The hotline number is 210-207-1799.