Community rallies in a new approach to fight homelessness
COASTAL BEND -
The Homelessness Resource Fair happens every year. This year, Homeless Issues Partnership organized over 20 homeless resource organizations and volunteers to meet an individual who's experiencing homelessness. They hope to fight homelessness through a new mentor initiative.
Hundreds of people came to Mother Theresa Shelter where they found resources and friendship by being paired up with a navigator.
Michael Duke has been homeless for a year. He's trying to rebuild his life.
"It can be done! You know even though you have hard times and everything you have to look at the other side sometimes, to see the hard work that other people put in is inspiring," Michael told KRIS 6 News.
Paired up with Captain Anthony Sanders, they walked around the resource tables, and got to know each other. It's a connection Michael has not had until now.
"Even as a man, sometimes you need a little inspiration or a little kick in the behind. to move on into the next level," he said.
Now he is armed with a bag of gifts, and someone to call for advice for guidance. It's a new friendship that could just be life-changing.
"I'm gonna give him my phone number, and we're gonna just keep in contact. And the way I look at it, it's not gonna end here today," Captain Sanders said.
Homeless resource organizations hope these relationships made today will give those trying to get out of homelessness a mentor to lean on and learn from.
"We live in the city named the body of Christ," Matt Lohmeier with the Corpus Christi Alliance said, "So we think there's an opportunity here to really take that name and live into it more fully by addressing the needs of the least of these."
Homeless Issues Partnership chair Jesse Elizondo also told KRIS 6 News that he hopes this project will also help with how people see homeless people and homelessness in general.
"Hopefully it will eliminate some of the stigmas associated with homelessness," he said
"It's not something the agencies here can resolve. It's gotta be a community wide effort," Lohmeier added.
Homeless Issues Partnership plan to reconvene next month, get input from navigators, and continue to generate more support to get more people off the streets.