LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A committee dedicated to combating homelessness in Lubbock has re-formed. The last time Lubbock saw a Homelessness Committee was around the time Tent City formed in 2010.
The Committee is made up of around 12 members; including civic leaders such as former Lubbock Mayor David Langston.
Latrelle Joy, Lubbock City Councilwoman for District 6 and co-chair of the Committee, says it’s going to take a lot of work and research to come up with a plan to tackle the issue.
“We’re likely to meet with some of the temporary housing people, the people who are out there. We have lots of resources,” she said.
Joy said tackling the issue is tough because people have free will and you cannot force people to make a change.
“If they are on drugs, you try to get help for them but people still have the ability to say no.”
She says the issue is throughout different areas, but she knows people have concerns about Downtown.
“There’s safety issues for everyone. For example, if a homeless person is sleeping on the front porch of a business and there’s some illegal activity going on, that’s a problem.”
Joy says people fall into homelessness for different reasons.
"There are more or less temporary homeless and there's what we call chronic homeless. The chronic homeless is a little harder to deal with because there are underlying issues.”
She knows that the homeless are in a really tough place but the city has to protect its people.
"One of the issues we talked about yesterday was enforcement because we do have a laws on the books and we have to enforce those, but it’s kind of difficult.”
The committee will meet from now until November when they hope to finalize a plan for the City Council. Joy says they will also reach out to law enforcement who help the homeless for their input.
"I could see us breaking into two or three subgroups so you can work on an issue. And those homeless people are citizens whether we count them or not.”