Homeless in the Hub City - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock


Homeless in the Hub City

The City of Lubbock is in the middle of looking for ways to fix the homeless problem around the Mahon Public Library, but first they must consider two things:

  • Are the homeless breaking any laws?
  • Or if the city forces them away from the public library, is the city violating the homeless people's constitutional right?

In the house of Eddie Torres, his walls are made of air and his head board is the back outside wall of the Mahon Public Library. There's a total of nine homeless people who call the public library home. They have bedding carpet in case the ground is wet. Wool blankets to stay warm during the night.

"This is really the first time we've had them sleep outside the library. So many of them. So we haven't had to deal with them in the past." Interim Library Director Jane Clausen says several citizens have complained about the homeless. Those citizens say the homeless make them feel uncomfortable.

Not all the homeless hang out at the library all day. Eddie doesn't. In fact, when we found him shortly before noon, a man by the name of Nick Vargas came around to pick Eddie up for work. We asked Nick how many of the homeless people do get to help you out? "Probably there's about two I can think of. Eddie and Patrick's been staying at the Salvation Army, I don't know if he's still there," says Nick. "No, Patrick got booted out. He messed up his extension," Eddie said.

Eddie says the reason why there's so many of them staying at the library is because they feel safe here, and public access to the bathrooms.

A side note to this story, a group that's been together for three years, the South Plains Homeless Consortium, are counting how many homeless people there are in Lubbock. They're hoping to get a solid count so they can establish the proper shelters for them.

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