Communities Under the Bridge plan to open new resources to help city’s unsheltered population

“We call it a resurrection -- a resurrection of something new, new life,” Dianne Talbert said.

Communities Under the Bridge has been helping the city of San Antonio’s unsheltered population since 1996.

Now several new resources are in the works to take their level of care to the next step.

Two older buildings next to the Communities Under the Bridge sanctuary downtown are finally gone.

“They had been condemned and they were an eyesore and people were squatting. And I mean, a lot of negative things had been happening on this property,” Dianne Talbert, executive director of CUB, said.

With their demolition, it’s giving Talbert room to build.

“Designing two buildings. Both will be two stories, one building, we’ll have showers and a barbershop in it, and the second level will be offices. The other building will be a laundromat,” she said.

Right now, some of the other organizations across the city that help the unsheltered population offer showers, but Talbert believes the permanent barber shop and the laundromat will be the first of their kind.

“We want to provide the services to make them feel that they are worthy enough to go and get a job and live in a house,” Talbert said.

All of the needed permits have been filed and the design process is still underway but Talbert said their greatest need is financial help from the community.

“We’re going to depend on that same generosity to help us raise the between four and $500,000 it’s going to take to clear this property totally and raise up to brand new resurrected buildings,” she said.

She hopes these new resources will help break the cycle of chronic homelessness, so more people can get off the streets.

“If we can get any of them off the street, then that’s successful. That’s the way I feel about it,” Talbert said.

This week, they hope to have the design of the laundromat, barbershop, and showers done.

The hope is to have eight showers, and 10 washers and dryers.

By the end of the year, they hope to have tangible progress made on the construction.

If you’d like to help, you can donate directly to CUB.

About the Authors

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.

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