CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The City of Corpus Christi and a local shelter are hoping to address the needs of the homeless population in Flour Bluff.
Timon's Ministries will be the point of contact, as the city begins its homeless outreach program in Flour Bluff. When that program gets underway, the shelter won't just collect statistics. They hope to put a human face on those numbers.
For two decades, Kae Berry, the executive director at Timon's Ministries has worked directly with the homeless in Flour Bluff. She's built strong bonds with many of them.
"We really have an intimate relationship, if you will, with most of the people that come here," she said.
That strong relationship will be useful when the city-led homeless outreach initiative kicks into high gear beginning in January.
"There's an element of trust built up between us because we've spent all these years together," Berry said.
Part of the city's initiative is conducting a needs assessment in Flour Bluff. That means interviewing and surveying the homeless population. Those surveys will be done at Timon's Ministries.
"We're trying to determine what people need -- if they're willing to take some help if its offered," Berry said.
The information collected will then be given to the city's homeless department. In turn, the city will then connect people to available resources offered in Corpus Christi.
The effort could help people like Robert Shaw, who was homeless years ago.
"The more people that they can personally talk to, right?" Shaw said. "Probably the better off that they are going to be."
"You have to want to make a difference in your life. And hopefully we can determine who those folks are," said Berry.
The city's homeless department also says they'll be working closely with local parks, code enforcement and the police department to enforce laws and develop a process to address homeless camps in Flour Bluff.
The homeless surveys will begin in January.
The outreach initiative got started in Flour Bluff after a meeting with city leaders to discuss problems with homeless camps.