First meeting of Homelessness Committee - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

First meeting of Homelessness Committee

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The first meeting of the Homelessness Committee that was appointed by City Council on December 2nd met Friday at 11:30 a.m.

The meeting is held at The Salvation Army Dining Room. The board members will be introduced and the Vice-Chair and Secretary appointments will be made. They are also going to discuss and deliberate on tentative times and dates to meet. The Committee will also discuss and deliberate on their mission.

In November, Lubbock's City Council voted to approve a resolution for homelessness advisory committee to help look for a solution to the Hub City's homeless problem. The committee consists of:

  • Lynn McClendon, Chairperson
  • Toby Billings, Current/Former Homeless Rep.
  • Mary Guetersloh, South Plains Homeless Consortium Rep.
  • Cathy Pope, Mental Health Services Rep.
  • Mary Gerlach, Substance/Alcohol Abuse Rep.
  • Ysidro Gutierrez, Veteran's Organization Rep.
  • Holly Humphries, Neighborhood Association Rep.
  • James Peel, Faith-Based Organization Rep.
  • Matt Mitchell, Faith-Based Organization Rep.
  • Mike Morton, Faith-Based Organization Rep.
  • Matt Wolfington, Faith-Based Organization Rep.
  • Latrelle Joy, Central Business TIF Reinvestment Zone Rep.
  • Roy Rios, Displaced Women and Children Rep.
  • Janice Potette, United Way Agency Rep.
  • Doug Triplett, At-Large
  • Rusty Ladd, At-Large
  • John Elliott, At-Large

The first order of business was to define homelessness, which raised lots of opinions. "We had a recommendation to focus on the 135 chronic homeless and that's less than 1% of the homeless its like .001 percent. What we need to do is focus on the whole scope," committee member Mike Morton said.

Bill Howerton of Housing and Urban Development gave a presentation of existing community resources like emergency shelter funding that has gone to local agencies. Several members of the committee feel that the $100,000 that the emergency shelter agencies receive isn't enough. "They run out of this money very rapidly its just not enough," Mary Guetersloth said.

The City Council gave the committee just 6 months to meet, which allows for twelve meetings. Committee member Matt Wolfington says Friday's meeting was long overdue. "This needed to be done yesterday for the people who are sleeping outside the library, or wherever they are..they don't have 6 months, so we need to move as quick as we can," Wolfington said.

Members of the community came out to voice their opinion but the committee did not allow for open discussion. 

The Homelessness committee plans to meet every other Thursday for the next six months. 

Copyright 2010 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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