Homeless Consortium exceeds housing goal

Homeless Consortium exceeds housing goal

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

At its inception, the South Plains Homeless Consortium set a lofty goal: end homelessness for dozens of people in 100 days. 

"Back on September 23, we set the goal of housing 45 households in a 100-day period, by December 31" said Chad Wheeler, president of the group. "As of the end of the year, we housed 61 households."

This is thanks to more than 40 agencies providing services, including the Salvation Army, Family Promise, VetStar, the VA, Women's Protective Services, Open Door and others.

In the last 100 days these organizations identified those experiencing homelessness and prioritized the most vulnerable. 

"There were veterans, there were families, there were chronically homeless people housed during that time period," Wheeler said. "Each agency provides different services that are catered to the needs of the particular people they're working with."

These people are now leasing permanent housing. 

"These are folks that are moved into regular housing, sometimes with supportive services in place, but they're there just like any other tenant," Wheeler said. He adds, while many move into houses with no problem, some may find the transition difficult.

"We've seen people move into housing, and the first month, they don't sleep in their bed, they sleep on the floor because they've been on the streets so long that it feels unusual to be in a bed," Wheeler said. "Sometimes the adjustment is difficult, but generally we've seen people just be inspired for what they're going to do next in life."

Housing opens many doors, acting as a foundation.

"Moving into a home is like a weight lifted off their shoulders, security, stability. The safety of having a home, it just changes a person dramatically."

The agencies are now working to standardize the way people are assessed and directed into housing. 

"I think it's really going to improve the way that we address homelessness in Lubbock," Wheeler said. "I think the future for the Lubbock community looks very bright. I think that we're going to be able to build on the success we've had in this 100 day challenge."

On January 25, the SPHC will conduct its annual "Point-In-Time" count of those experiencing homelessness around the city. The organization is requesting volunteers. If you would like to volunteer, fill out this survey.

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