Lubbock teens team up to help Tent City - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lubbock teens team up to help Tent City

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

What residents thought would take weeks to build only took hours this afternoon thanks to the help of the Lubbock High Basketball program.

It's been almost a month since Lubbock City Council ruled that Tent City could remain where it was and continue providing a place for Lubbock's homeless to stay. There was one condition: Tent City had to have a privacy fence.

"Not seeing the rest of the world outside helps a little bit, it makes you feel like you're even more isolated, so the residents are looking forward to that," Tent City resident Cliff Van Loan said.

Along with the comfort of Tent City residents, Les Burrus of Link Ministries says the new fence is also part of their efforts to be good neighbors.

"We wanted to help them feel better about what we're doing here," Burrus said. "The owners around the properties, other properties, they wanted to have some type of privacy so they wouldn't constantly be seeing the tents."

After hearing the City Council's ruling, the Lubbock High basketball program jumped into action to lend several helping hands.

"It's my civic duty, I'm a Lubbock guy. I've been here all my life, and figured that was the perfect opportunity to get the boys involved," Coach Jesus Arenas said.

News that Tent City was in need drew more volunteers than just the basketball team.

"It kind of made me feel like a better person. I didn't think it'd make me feel this good, but it's nice to feel like I'm helping out" Jocilyn Jennings, a volunteer Saturday, said.

"It's just kind of exciting to have the community involved in this," Van Loan said.

The fence will protect Tent City from more than just the on-lookers. As the cold weather rolls in, it will break up the freezing South Plains wind.

The small community also got donations for around 50 army surplus tents.

"They won't notice the wind so much. They flap, they shake, they rattle and groan, but they don't go anywhere. I could do chin-ups on that frame and it just doesn't care, I think it'll take anything Texas has to offer," Van Loan said.

With the new privacy fence installed and heavy-duty tents on their way, Tent City is just about ready to brave another Lubbock winter.

"When people come together, it shows you what can get done" Burrus said.

Copyright 2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11

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