Problems at tent city, Lubbock churches forming a network - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Problems at tent city, Lubbock churches forming a network to help homeless

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More homeless are flocking to tent city, but some of them are causing problems. On Wednesday churches from all over Lubbock formed a unified front to discuss ways to help.

As many as 70 people call tent city home. It's nearly doubled in size in two months. "The increasing population has been leading to some friction here and there," said tent city resident Cliff van Loan.

Wednesday police helped escort someone out who is no longer allowed in tent city. Residents say the man assaulted another woman over the weekend.

When tent city was formed people living there adopted a drug and alcohol free policy. After 2 months in their new location with new people there are some growing pains.

"Some of the people coming out here lately seem to think they should be able to bring the drugs and alcohol in," said van Loan.

Les Burrus with Link Ministries says those who are caught with illegal substances must leave for two weeks.

Churches of all denominations joined as one for a call to action at Wednesday's meeting. More than 50 people from at least 25 different organizations were in attendance.

"We feel like we're at the point where the faith based community needs to step up alongside other organizations," said Chad Wheeler of Carpenter's Church.

"The action has already started we've focused on 3 areas of needs," said Les Burrus.

Those 3 areas: continuing to support tent city, creating a new shelter space for chronic homeless, and making sure all the churches are working together.

"Were not trying to duplicate anything were trying to stand alongside those existing organizations," Wheeler said.

Organizers want a shelter that protects against rough weather near downtown so homeless can be closer to bus stops and other facilities. In the meantime churches will be calling on their members to help anyway they can.

"We need people to volunteer to help take people with medical problems to therapy or to the doctor," said Burrus.

Leaders at tent city say along with transportation, they could use sleeping bags and tents. 

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