Community Spotlight: Open Door Lubbock receives grant to provide housing for homeless individuals

Covenant Health Community Spotlight

LUBBOCK, Texas (KAMC) – Tuesday is a big day for Open Door Lubbock. On September 1st, a new HUD grant goes into effect, allowing them to add 40 units of housing for their Permanent Supportive Housing Program.

The grant totals $1.3 million per year and will help many chronically homeless individuals in the Lubbock community. Like Donna Lane Smith, who is waiting to move into her new home, thanks to Open Door Lubbock.

“A lot of times you question where you’re going to sleep, how, who’s around you, what’s going to happen,” Smiths said, recalling her time on the streets. “You have to be fully aware of your surroundings at all times.”

Chad Wheeler, CEO of Open Door Lubbock, says the mission of the non-profit is to end chronic homelessness in Lubbock, and this grant will help them reach that goal. Chronic homelessness is someone who has been homeless for a year or more and has a disability.

Like Daniel Hernandez, who was homeless for five years before connecting with Open Door. Now, thanks to the Permanent Supportive Housing Program, he has a house he loves and is off of drugs. Smith says that shows Open Door is all about second chances.

“It’s probably life saving to me at my age, 58-years-old,” Smith said. “A lot of people don’t get these chances.”

Katherine Hennecke is the Director of the Permanent Supportive Housing Program. She says there’s no better feeling than giving these residents a place to call home.

“I remember one day I had handed a man a key and when he walked in, we had decorated his house in his favorite colors and favorite items ahead of time,” Hennecke said. “He ran straight to his bed and jumped on his bed with a huge smile and said, ‘I’m finally home.'”

Donna says she’s looking forward to that day she has a place to call home, thanks to this grant.

“It’s been a long, tough hard road, but it’s going to be well worth it in the long run,” Donna said.

Open Door is asking for furniture donations so they can make sure each new apartment is fully furnished. You can call (806) 687-6876 to set up a time to make your donation.

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