Bethany House prepares for annual homeless point-in-time count

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 10:30 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAREDO, Tx. (KGNS) - A local shelter is looking to get more people off the streets and back into society.

The Bethany House of Laredo is trying to get a head count on all of the residents it serves as well as others who may be in need of assistance by conducting an annual survey.

According to Monica Bautista, the President of the Laredo Homeless Coalition, the shelter is going to be conducting its Homeless Point in Time survey this Thursday.

“This is a count that we do every year, it’s actually something that happens nationally so many homeless providers you know in the country will be doing the same thing,” said Bautista.

On Tuesday morning, 35 volunteers took part in the training on how to successfully conduct the survey, and where to search for the homeless community members whether they may live on the streets or in a different shelter.

According to Esmerelda Suarez with the Bethany House, this count is vital in helping raise awareness on the homeless population as well as some of the hardships they are struggling with.

“So we meet with them to tell the about the different programs that are available and where they can get help. If they don’t have transportation, we can take them. Most of the people that we serve have mental or substance abuse issues,” said Suarez.

In, 2022, the survey revealed that nearly 30 families were facing homelessness in our community.

“So, we counted a total of 348 people that are experiencing homelessness that included 29 families with children, and you know, you can also see the point in time count as the minimum number of people that are experiencing homelessness”, said Bautista.

While these numbers are not an exact count, the ballpark figure collected is reported to local state, and federal agencies so they can funnel more resources and funds to the shelter based on the local need.

“Because it is assigned in a single night we cannot guarantee that it’s a census that counts everybody but we know for sure based on that number 348 that at least 348 are experiencing homelessness in Laredo,” said Bautista.

Due to the increase in demand, Bautista said the Bethany House is working on a facility that is specifically designed for men.

“We’ve seen that there’s always a greater demand for male services, so what we are doing is that we are moving at all the services for men to this new location. So we provide a more intensive intervention for men whether its substance abuse, mental health, general health services and we want to make sure that it’s a 24/7 operation so we can help them exit faster from that cycle of homelessness,” said Bautista.

Bautista said they are hoping to have that center up and running by 2024 so they can provide more services to the community.

For more headlines. click here.