LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – As temperatures drop, questions are raised about where the homeless will go. This year, some usual places won't be options. James Victory and his wife talk about a friend they lost a few winters ago. "He went to sleep on one of the benches out here and he froze, having a shelter would definitely help some of these older cats," Victory said.
They've been around the Mahon Library for awhile now, but Tuesday morning they found out that would no longer be possible as the city tries to clean up public areas. "We heard it'd be 10 days before they'd move us," Victory told us.
Carpenter's Church has had an evening vigil where they opened with prayer and allowed guests a place to sleep following the service at their building. They've been operating under help from the Broadway Church of Christ. Today Chad Wheeler, one of the pastors, said they won't be able to offer the vigil this year. He said one of the main reasons was liability. "This winter without us being open, there are potentially 50 people per night that are going to be looking for a place to stay," Wheeler said.
The Carpenter's Church is working to become their own non-profit so they can resume the vigil. In light of their announcement, the Lubbock Salvation Army is adding around 40 beds to help with the problem. "We're going to be taking care of folks so they're not out in the cold, we're looking at providing the basic needs. Food, clothing, and shelter, so we'll accommodate and meet the need," said their Captain, Mike Morton.
They also want to add to their staff and serve additional meals to accommodate the additional people. Morton is asking the people of Lubbock for their help. The Salvation Army uses proceeds from their thrift stores to fund these types of operations. They also allow homeless people to use vouchers to obtain warm clothing from the stores. Morton says the improvements could cost nearly $20,000.
We talked with city councilman Paul Beane to hear his thoughts on what the city could do. "As far as the city being involved in any type of homeless shelter, I simply don't see that as our mission." Beane encourages anyone with ideas on solving the homeless problem to bring them before city council or any of the councilmen. I'm interested in doing what I can, but I'm not interested in getting the taxpayers involved in the shelter business," Beane said.
Copyright 2010 KCBD. All rights reserved.