HOUSTON — Following the shooting death of a possibly homeless man near a Midtown encampment earlier in the week, the plight of Houston’s homeless is front and center, and now the mayor has recommitted to addressing the dilemma.
On Thursday, Mayor Sylvester Turner noted the injunction preventing Houston’s homeless ordinance from being enforced.
“The situation has gotten worsened and prior to the temporary restraining order, the situation was getting better,” Turner said.
Tents are not unique to Houston, but an outbreak of Hepatitis A in homeless camps identical to ours in cities like San Diego and Detroit has prompted the city to take preemptive action.
“These are people that become ill to the point of requiring hospitalization , and some have died,” says David Persse with the Houston Health Department.
The city plans another round of deep cleaning for next week to the site already deemed a health hazard, but due to the lawsuit, there's nothing preventing the camp from coming right back.
Away from the encampment- south of downtown - is a bright spot in the fight to end homelessness.
The Star of Hope is celebrating their new facility on Reed Rd. The Cornerstone Community will house up to 600 women and families.
“These last 5 to 9 years we've really focused on the homeless single women and the homeless moms with kids and trying to come up with better ways to not only get them through their homeless episode, but get their lives re-equipped so that they can live independently and truly exit homelessness once and for all for themselves and for their children,” said President & CEO of Star of Hope Hank Rush.
The 48-acre campus provides housing, but also substance abuse recovery, a medical clinic run by Harris Health, work assistance through WorkFaith Connection, and each new resident will receive a case worker on day one, that sees them through - step by step.
It's the complete package that could help folks out of a cycle of poverty, and guide them on a journey towards independence.