Area nonprofit places dozens of homeless in permanent housing

Area nonprofit places dozens of homeless in permanent housing
Chad Wheeler helps provide permanent housing to dozens of homeless (Source: KCBD)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Dozens of homeless individuals, including families, are now off the streets thanks to a local nonprofit.

The South Plains Homeless Consortium, made up of organizations and agencies dedicated to helping the homeless, set a goal over the summer to find permanent housing for 45 homeless households.

The lofty 100-day challenge started on Sept. 23 and ended on Dec. 31, 2017.

"I know that we do great work in Lubbock, but I really felt like 45 households was an ambitious goal to set in a 100-day period. It's actually pretty quick to move that many people, not just into shelter - this is not just a temporary fix - but that is 45 people moving into permanent housing," said SPHC President, Chad Wheeler.

Wheeler said he was shocked to learn that the nonprofit surpassed its goal, finding permanent housing for more than 60 households.

"61 households, I don't have the number of individuals in those households, but that is a sizable number of the total experiencing homelessness," Wheeler said.

Wheeler said on any given night, there are an estimated 434 people experiencing homelessness in Lubbock.

That number comes from the annual Point-in-Time Count, where volunteers spread out across Lubbock and the surrounding area to count the number of people experiencing homelessness.

Wheeler said the individuals and families who were placed in permanent houses were among those considered most vulnerable.

"Some of them were veterans, some of them were families, some of them were considered chronically homeless," Wheeler said.

Now, Wheeler said, they are living primarily in rental properties all over the city.

"We always say the solution to homelessness is a home, and that is the end goal for everyone, to move into a stable, long-term environment," Wheeler said.

The SPHC will conduct this year's Point-In-Time Count on Jan. 25.

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