City of Laredo addresses ways to help the homeless community

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 4:03 PM CDT
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LAREDO, TX (KGNS) -Laredo has taken a monumental step towards addressing homelessness in our community.

During Monday night’s City Council meeting, members agreed to put money towards expanding Bethany House and to help fund their operations; two key issues a consultant for the city said would help reduce the number of homeless people in the community.

Doctor Robert Marbut began studying the homeless population in Laredo at the start of the year.

Some of his observations included the ratio of men to women saying there are more homeless women than men who are “Homegrown” meaning they went to high school here.

When it comes to the men, the majority of them are from out of town.

According to Dr. Marbut, one way to help the homeless is by connecting them to their families back home.

Another way is to redirect money provided to them.

“For example, at a community level we need to stop giving money out the window. It’s much better to give money to Bethany House or salvation army or another well-run program because if you give money out the window that just funds alcohol, drugs and prostitution, so if you think that’s a good idea – keep giving your money out the window, but it’s not a good idea. It’s much better to work with an agency that’s well run, and give the money there”, said Dr. Marbut.

According to Bethany House Board President Carl Barto with the 1.9 million in federal dollars, the organization will be able to expand their space to provide services to those in need.

The city also agreed to a five-year commitment with Bethany House to provide $979,000 annually.

The money will be used for operations including funding case workers, outreach people and office space.

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