Local News

Dec 27, 2013 7:59 PM

Homeless for the Holidays: More People on Streets

CORPUS CHRISTI - It's a challenging equation. Bad weather leads to overcrowding in the city's homeless shelters which in turn forces our homeless back on to the streets.

And all of it during a holiday period when the sparkling city by the sea is eager to shine for its citizens and tourists.

Today, KRIS 6 News found three men, a woman and one dog in the winding walkway at the Harbor Bridge.

One of the group, Mike White, said he's pushing 40 and has been homeless for more than a decade.

He told us they'd spent two days sleeping on the walkway and they kept a path open for joggers and walkers.

"There's never anything out in the open to where they're going to trip over it," White said.

The group camped out near downtown's most popular tourist areas so there were probably a few calls.

KRIS-6 News talked to Police Capt. Mike Alanis. He said while it's not a crime to be homeless, the police are responsible for keeping public spaces open and residents safe.

"You just can't make a home or house on a public walkway," Alanis said on Friday. "You can impedefoot traffic and things like that."
Officers gave them an hour to clean up and clear out, but, some in the group had few options.

"Some of us are actually residentially challenged it's hard to get in to anywhere," one man said. "They'll use backgrounds against you and they'll use what you've been or they'll use the fact that you're homeless against you."

10 minutes later, they were gone.

But police and the city know there is a problem. They want to help. Alanis told KRIS 6 News they're working on some solutions.

He didn't give specifics but said the police chief and city hall are looking at ways to give the city's homeless a leg up.

One man told us some homeless people end up on the streets by choice.
Other, he said, are put there.

Just 18, he made some trouble back home in San Antonio. So, his family dropped him off down here a month ago. "I was dropped here with a $100 and a 'goodbye.'"

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