One year after homeless man was shot at a gas station, family frustrated with lack of charges
A year after William Hawkins, 35, was shot in a downtown gas station parking lot near McCullough Avenue and U.S. 281, his family is frustrated by what they see as a lack of justice. The Oct. 14, 2021 shooting happened in broad daylight, and was captured on camera, but the shooter is not currently facing any charges.
City struggling to keep homeless outreach team staffed
Started in 2021 following some smaller-scale pilot programs, the outreach team has 11 positions - one for each city council district and another for downtown. But in the little over a year-and-a-half since the first team members started, the city says it has had five resignations from the team.
In fight for Congress, Eddie Rodriguez targets Greg Casar’s record on Austin homelessness, police funding
Casar has impressive progressive endorsements, from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders. But he also is tied to some of Austin’s most progressive policies, which have attracted powerful enemies and turned off some moderate Democrats.
Unsheltered community remembers one of their own killed last week
Friends and family of 35-year-old William Hawkins were comforted by song, poetry and prayer and by the words of tribute and remembrance by those who knew and loved him during a memorial service Thursday at Christian Assistance Ministry.
Businesses’ issues with homeless spur BCSO patrols on San Antonio River Walk
Downtown businesses’ issues with people experiencing homelessness have spurred the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office to send deputies on patrol along the River Walk -- though not in great numbers nor with the ability to enforce all the local laws.
‘There are no quick fixes’: Bravo’s plans on camping at San Antonio District 1 field office remain uncharted
Under Mario Bravo’s predecessor, Roberto Treviño, the District 1 field office near IH-10 and Vance Jackson, next to the Westfall Library, had been a safe haven for people experiencing homelessness to camp out. The situation has exasperated neighbors in the surrounding area, though, who hope the new councilman will get rid of the camp.
Haven for Hope prepares to provide shelter amid major temperature drop
SAN ANTONIO – Haven for Hope has been preparing for the upcoming cold weather. President for Haven for Hope, Molly Biglari said an indoor space will be used for sleeping. “We want to be able to offer even under these incredible services with COVID every service and that’s Haven’s services and our partner’s services,” she said. Haven for Hope will also offer cold weather clothing, warm jackets, and gloves. New clients should appear at Haven for Hope’s Intake (currently operating out of the Donation Center at 1 Haven for Hope Way) between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
City crews clear another downtown homeless camp within the same week
SAN ANTONIO – The City of San Antonio dismantled another downtown homeless camp Friday at Main Street and I-35, just two days after they cleared out a camp at Brooklyn Avenue and I-37. “We’ll leave a camp in place if there’s no health or safety concern. Outreach crews from the city and its partners had been by the camp several times in the previous weeks, Steck said, offering assistance connecting with various services. Steck said out of everyone in the camp, three people accepted help with getting shelter services. RELATED: Homeless encampment will stay outside councilman’s office as city continues outreach efforts
City unveils new, 5-year strategic plan to fight homelessness
SAN ANTONIO – City staff presented a new five-year strategic plan on Wednesday to deal with homelessness in San Antonio and Bexar County. They said they are also planning for a possible wave of newly homeless residents from COVID-19-related evictions. The strategic plan was developed by California-based nonprofit Homebase and includes recommendations such as increasing the investment in outreach teams and community-based housing and services. RECOMMENDATION #5: Develop detailed prioritization policies and targeted interventions to most effectively connect persons experiencing unsheltered homelessness to stable housing. RECOMMENDATION #6: Increase focus on consumer engagement and equity throughout the homelessness response system.
Some California counties winding down hotels for homeless
But counties say that with some federal relief funding expiring soon or its status uncertain, it's time to transition residents from expensive hotel rooms to cheaper, more stable housing. California is one of several states, including Washington, that turned to hotels to shelter homeless people as the virus took hold. The department has said it plans to move homeless people out of all 29 hotels by June. Russ Heimerich, spokesman with the state's Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, says counties have resources to continue housing homeless people in hotels. They say hotel residents have flourished with regular checkups and meals.
Pandemic puts downtown homeless encampments in plain sight
Tomanique Grant is one of several people who recently took to living in a tent, right alongside a busy downtown street. (KSAT 12 News)He bunks down each night in a fenced off parking lot near N. Main, alongside people in more than a half dozen other tents. (KSAT 12 News)They not only live together, but share chores and any food they can find. Grant says the closures related to the coronavirus left him and many other homeless people without any assistance. On October 15, San Antonio police moved in and shut down the encampment, not long after KSAT 12 News spoke with the city’s Department of Human Services about it.
Study shows direct cash transfers may help solve homelessness
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – A recent study concluded that cash transfers provided to recently homeless individuals had a direct impact on financial stability and provided relief to the shelter system by empowering individuals. The organization calculated that, on average, the cash transfer recipients saved the shelter system $8,100 per person over the course of the year for a total savings of $405,000. Claire Williams, CEO of Foundations for Social Change, said the organization wanted to illustrate the viability of direct cash transfers to impact change. “Our research shows that cash transfers allowed people to access housing faster, improving stability and lowering the risk of trauma.”Jiaying Zhao, the study’s principal investigator and a UBC professor, said that the study was based on people who received direct cash transfers and individuals who did not receive outside support. “To receive a direct cash transfer, participants had to meet criteria that showed no misuse or abuse of substances,” Zhao said.
WATCH: San Antonio City Councilman Peláez hosts virtual town hall on city’s homelessness response
SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio City Councilman Manny Peláez, with District 8, is holding a virtual town hall to discuss the city’s collective community response to homelessness. The virtual town hall is scheduled from 5:30- 7 p.m. Thursday on Facebook Live and can be viewed in the video livestream below. Homelessness Town Hall: A Collective Community Response Join us for a deep-dive into San Antonio's homelessness response network! For more information on the event, or to learn more about the city’s initiatives combatting homelessness, click here. RELATED: KSAT Community virtual Mental Health Town Hall
Massive homeless tunnel town uncovered in San Antonio
The City of Hollywood Park is trying to figure out how to clean-up an underground town of homeless people uncovered this week. The underground tunnel was uncovered when an officer saw a homeless person crawl in to a drainage tunnel. “And it really is like a small little town down there.”The tunnels are covered with trash, shopping carts, food, feces and furniture. Since the tunnel town was uncovered, officers have check on them at least twice a day to clear people out. The tunnel crosses 281 underground, which is TxDOT jurisdiction, and exits into San Antonio’s jurisdiction.
Homeless shelters look for ways to help, protect some of the most vulnerable during COVID-19 crisis
San Antonio – Some of the most vulnerable members of our community have no place to take shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic. Haven for Hope CEO Kenny Wilson says exceptions will be made for families with children, veterans and a few through selected targeting outreach. The City of San Antonio is also leading an effort to help the high number of people who are on the streets. In the next few days, the city plans to launch a hotline to help people reach social services. Both Haven for Hope and the city are looking at what funds are available federally and at the state level to help with homelessness.
Coronavirus isn’t stopping churches from feeding the homeless
During a time of crisis for the whole community, San Antonio church members are spending their time helping their homeless neighbors. Services inside San Antonio churches have stopped and have been transferred online, but the mission continues on the streets. “Normally, the church serves around 400 to 600 homeless a week through medical clinics, through hot meals, clothes, showers. “We work with the San Antonio Food Bank and whatever we get from them, we get creative,” he said. Rogers and Chadwell will be passing out hot food again Wednesday evening at different parks and bridges in the downtown area.
Homeless outreach pilot program recommended for expansion
Juarez, a licensed clinical social worker, is the heart of a homeless outreach pilot program that could be set for expansion. As a family support coordinator for the city’s Department of Human Services, Juarez has been going out with SAPD SAFFE North officers since June to visit homeless encampments in District 10. Homeless Strategic Plan taking shapeWhen she gets a “yes,” Juarez follows up. She arranges transportation to meetings, helps get people into programs and suggests other services or help they might want to consider. She said the SAFFE officers help with the outreach, by visiting encampments and handing out Juarez’s card to homeless people.
Youth homelessness crisis addressed at Education Service Center event
Youth homelessness crisis addressed at Education Service Center eventPublished: February 20, 2020, 1:11 pmLocal education leaders and advocates gathered Friday to develop school-based action plans to address the growing child and youth homelessness crisis in San Antonio and nationwide.
Consultant shares preliminary recommendations for curbing homelessness in SA
San Antonio – A California-based nonprofit hired to create a plan to reduce homelessness in San Antonio has unveiled some preliminary recommendations. Homebase was contracted by the city in October to create a homeless strategic plan for the City of San Antonio. However, she also noted that San Antonio appears to be doing many things well already. “We’ve heard over and over again that San Antonio has a culture of compassion, empathy,” Lehmer said. Whatever Homebase addresses in its final plan, Lehmer said it will focus on realistic achievements for a five-to-10 year period.
Community leaders conduct ‘sweep’ to try to fix homeless problem in Dellview neighborhood
SAN ANTONIO – Park benches, bus stops, streets and sidewalks are just a few of the places Dellview neighborhood residents say are being taken over by homeless vagrants. They brought undercover agents patrolling, regular patrol agents,” said Jeroen Zijlema, with the Dellview Citizen on Patrol group. He said the neighborhood is nothing like it used to be because of the growing homeless population. While some were directed to shelters, others living on the streets who were found to have active warrants were taken to jail. So what we’re trying to do together with the sheriff’s department is make this a reoccurring activity,” Zijlema said.
Homeless Strategic Plan taking shape
San Antonio – The city’s Homeless Strategic Plan is beginning to take shape as the contractor hired by the city nears a pivotal phase in the process. Homebase deputy director Patrick Wigmore says that has consisted of looking at data and conducting numerous interviews and meetings. WATCH: ‘In the Shadows’Wigmore said San Antonio has been getting good outcomes from its services, but there’s a growing demand for them. And this is a nationwide issue that communities are struggling with.”There is already $560,000 available in the city’s fiscal 2020 budget to be put toward the plan Homebase presents. “So in regards to carrying out this plan, I mean, we’re very serious about this, which is why we invested in it,” said Morjoriee White, the city’s homeless administrator.
Housing First: A permanent housing program for the chronically homeless
No rules, no conditions, just a place to live through Housing First, a unique program aimed at helping the chronically homeless find permanent housing with no strings attached. "The shelter system is dangerous and unreliable...people need permanent housing that is not contingent on meeting certain milestones," says Executive Director of the Downtown Emergency Services Center in Seattle (DESC), Daniel Malone. "People deserve time and investment, they deserve something as simple as permanent housing so they can start living." The program has also been shown to have economic incentives for municipalities, proposing that permanent housing for the chronic homeless is more cost effective than paying for their hospital visits, jail time or array of expensive services. "That's just not how it works: people deserve time and investment, they deserve something as simple as permanent housing so they can start living."cbsnews.com