Why Lubbock may have less people on the street this winter

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — As temperatures begin to creep closer and closer to below freezing, The Salvation Army’s Director of Social Work Erica Hitt said they’re getting ready to roll out their cots for anyone who needs a warm place to sleep on a cold night.  

“We are opening the door,” Hitt said. “Trying to tell the community, you know, don’t try to tough it out.. We don’t want anyone freezing when we have the capabilities of keeping you guys warm.”  

Hitt said their services go beyond offering a cot and a warm meal during harsh weather. They work closely with other nonprofits in the area to provide longer term solutions.

“You’ve got to take into consideration that Lubbock has so many different housing programs right now,” Hit said. “Whether it’s permanent supportive housing, through open door, Rapid Re-Housing through Salvation Army. We are able to get these individuals in homelessness, and get them housed as part of housing first.” 

CEO of Open Door Chad Wheeler said longer term solution programs that focus on placing people in a reliable and stable living environment are proven to be more effective approaches in decreasing the homeless population. 

“We always say at open door, that housing is the foundation for much of the rest of life, you know,”Wheeler said.“You want to solve the problems that you’re dealing with. So having the foundation, the stability of a home is kind of an essential ingredient.” 

Wheeler said they are running two housing first programs that access those suffering from chronic homelessness and those who escaped from human trafficking. 

Open Door said that over the last year their programs have taken 40 people off the streets and placed them into homes.       

“One of the really cool things that we’ve seen already this year is that we’re seeing fewer people, because a lot of the people that were here last winter are now in housing,” Wheeler said. 

While many people have already benefited from these programs, there are still more out there who need help. 

For ways to donate and support these organization that provide aid to those in need visit there websites at Salvation Army or Open Door.

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