SAN ANTONIO – The City of San Antonio and several partner agencies are working on getting people off the street – creating the Homeless Response System to address homelessness in our community.
On November 12, Mayor Ron Nirenberg proclaimed the 20th Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week to help aid the effort.
Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is an effort to help families with difficult circumstances around San Antonio, a vital tool used as holidays quickly approach.
“See the faces of homelessness, see them as people [to] reach out [to], as humans to humans be kind,” Kim Jefferies, President and CEO of Haven for Hope said.
Homelessness is a problem in San Antonio that the city and partner agencies have been working to fix.
“There’s actions on both ends of the homeless response system, upstream there’s making sure those prevention dollars from the city of San Antonio to make sure people don’t end up in shelters, and on the other end there is housing,” Jefferies said.
Haven for Hope is one of the local organizations working on getting people off the streets, but it’s not the only one, San Antonio is unique in that this is a collaborative effort.
Other partners include the City of San Antonio, San Antonio Food Bank, South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless (SARAH), Christian Assistance Ministries (CAM), Centro San Antonio, Corazon San Antonio, Haven for Hope, SAMMinistries, Opportunity Home.
“We still have work to do always because there are people who are living on the streets today but we are actually making a dent in that and working to make sure people have a safe and warm place to stay,” Jefferies said.
Through the Homeless Response System resources, Karizma Deasia Cedillo Williams graduated high school in September.
Williams said her sister and mom “moved around a lot” before the program, saying she remembered “going to at least six different grade schools, three different districts.
Karizma shared a message for anyone who needs help.
“I say do it, don’t be scared to ask questions, that’s the best way to get yourself out of the situation you are in if they don’t have the next question go to the next place that does and always have hope,” Williams said.