Committee presents strategy to combat homelessness

Committee presents strategy to combat homelessness

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

 

Despite a dramatic drop in the homeless population in the Hub City, the homelessness committee began developing solutions to the on-going issue in May.


In 2010, there were more than 700 people living on the streets in Lubbock.

Today, there are only 293.

"We can help. We can. We've got the ability to do that. I don't think it will be eradicated. But if we could just, get everyone off, other than those who want to be on the street. Than we would have gone a long way," Councilwoman Latrelle Joy of District 6, said.

Councilwoman Joy has been leading the effort. 

On Tuesday, Joy presented City Council with both short and long-term solutions. 

The committee's suggestions include the creation of a "diversion center" as an alternative to jail for misdemeanor offenses, to help people get off the streets. 

"They actually have a program where when it's time to release a person who is homeless, they try to direct them to some resources to help them," Councilwoman Joy said. "But on a misdemeanor they might not even be there for a whole day...and then they're released back. And then we repeat the process."

Recommended as a long term solution was a permanent advisory committee to report directly to city council.

The committee has seen debate about how to go about the issue at hand. 

"We have a problem. and it's something that we've got to address. I'm thankful for your committee, I appreciate the fact that there's disagreement and everybody's not on the same page," Mayor Dan Pope said. 

Mayor Dan Pope also called the committee's recommendations a "good first step" but said the plan needs more work, including funding recommendations, before it can become a resolution. 

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