City to use $3 million to help local homeless population

As the city searches for what the population needs, we asked a local homeless man what he thought.
Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 10:16 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - How can $3 million help the local homeless population? That’s a question the city is looking to answer in the most efficient way possible.

The corner of Washington and San Bernardo Avenue is a place Daniel has called home for the past three months.

The space once inhabited by an old public library now houses not only Daniel, but others just like him, homeless.

As the city searches for what the population needs, we asked Daniel what he thought.

“We need somewhere to spend our day, some people are old, some people they don’t work, they can’t work. They say, ‘get a job,’ and there’s no... a lot of people are sick, mostly mentally, physically, and they don’t have nowhere for us to just like here, but they don’t really want us here.”

Daniel says from his experience of living on the streets in other cities, he’s notices something different.

“Like, in San Antonio they have the Haven for Hope, you can hang out there all day. They have fans, they have you know... and for the sun and everything, they don’t have that here. There’s no place where you can actually... we’re using this as a homeless daytime shelter but its not.”

A homeless daytime shelter is just one of the ideas being tossed around according to City of Laredo community development director Tina Martinez.

She tells us the city has been meeting with the Laredo housing authority and stakeholder like Bethany House and Salvation Army to figure out where the need is.

Addressing the current shelter capacity issues and housing is definitely on the table.

“We’ve discussed the need for permanent supportive housing,” said Martinez. “Permanent supportive housing is basically housing that provides case management and follow up.”

Martinez says they’re barely in the planning phase and still have a long road ahead.

They want to create something that can last for years to come.

The last census report on the homeless population was in 2020 prior to the pandemic.

Roughly 300 homeless people were reported.

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