LUBBOCK, Texas– The annual Homeless count of Lubbock was predicted to decrease in this year. The downward trend was believed to be caused by a variety of resources that help homeless people get back on their feet.
“I want to be clear that there’s no perfect count, that we inevitably have a hard task in front of us finding everybody in homelessness,” said Chad Wheeler, CEO of open door. “It doesn’t tell us everything, what we’re hoping to see is positive trends.”
Wheeler said he thinks other organizations teaming up is what started the decrease.
“We have the participation of agencies across Lubbock, like the Salvation Army, Grace Campus, Women’s Protective Services, Vet Star,” Wheeler said. “I mean, a lot of agencies come together to make sure that every person is counted.”
Angelo Madril said he grew up in Alamosa, Colorado and had never seen homeless people.
“That’s amazing, because being from a different state and my hometown is Alamosa, Colorado. Growing up there, we didn’t see any homeless,” Madril said. “I went there this year, and they have a tent city now for the homeless, so to hear the number drop [in Lubbock], that they got to be doing something right.
Madril said he believes support from the community on the smallest things and understanding their situation can help pull them out of homelessness.
“Hand a sandwich out, a pair of socks or something, and just ask if somebody’s okay,” Madril said. “That’s a huge, huge difference, it could change somebody in the world, I’ll tell you that much.”
Wheeler said organizations teaming up in the community is what helps get people off the street and into a new home and a fresh start.
“Help people gain the stability of a home, then from there, they’ll be able to address all the other needs, like employment recovery, healthcare needs,” Wheeler said. “Coming together as a community to get behind that solution, I think is a big reason why we’ve made progress in Lubbock.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness or would like to help, visit opendoorlbk.org.