San Antonio-area nonprofit starts new program to help chronically homeless people

Program works with SAPD’s bike patrol unit and provides resources to those in need

SAN ANTONIO – A new program led by Christian Assistance Ministry is helping one chronically homeless person at a time.

Dawn White-Fosdick, President and CEO of CAM, said they are seeing positive results through a new program called “One life at a time.”

“The goal of this program is to help people who are on the street that are chronic, that are really struggling that may not be able to access help themselves due to mental health issues or substance abuse issues,” White-Fosdick said.

She said they are working with the San Antonio Police Department’s bike patrol unit.

“They bring them down to CAM and we assess the situation and then provide resources,” White-Fosdick said.

She says since CAM started the program in April, they’ve assisted 50 people experiencing homelessness each month.

“We’ve been able to get about 30 people per month off the street and specifically some of those chronic individuals we’ve been able to get them into mental health programs,” White-Fosdick said.

She believes the program will help in many ways.

“This provides an element of safety and a reduction of costs. It cost a lot of money to arrest and release people when really what they might need is help,” White-Fosdick said.

As the city continues to see an increase in the number of homeless people battling addiction and mental illness, nonprofits like CAM are feeling the pressure and costs are adding up.

SAPD issued the following statement on Tuesday afternoon:

“This is a continued partnership between SAPD’s Bike Patrol Unit and Christian Assistance Ministry (CAM). Bike Patrol Officers often encounter the same individuals while patrolling; therefore, instead of writing a citation or making an arrest, SAPD, along with CAM, would like to get these individuals the help that they need in order to get back into the work force and receive the assistance they may need.”

White-Fosdick said there are many ways to help from monetary donations to volunteer opportunities.

You can visit their website by clicking here, or call 210-223-4099.

About the Authors:

Tiffany Huertas is a reporter for KSAT 12 known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.