CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Tuesday, the Corpus Christi City Council accepted a grant from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The grant is $190,458, and that money will go towards providing housing and case management to the homeless with mental illness and other disabilities.
“My office is downtown, and oftentimes I see it first-hand, a lot of panhandling going on, and you see a lot of these poor individuals that we need to see what we can do to at least get them some help,” said city council member Roland Barrera, who represents District 3.
“It’s great, any time we can get money from other agencies that we can use for the benefit of the city. It’s a win-win for everyone all around,” said council member Ben Molina, who represents District 2.
The city will partner with Accessible Housing Resources, Inc.to find people eligible to receive help through this grant. According to the city, AHRI already has more than 70 people on a waiting list who may be helped.
The grant will allow the city and AHRI to provide short-term rental assistance (3-6 months), as well as case management, which will make sure the individuals enrolled will be able to access benefits, receive job training, and work towards a permanently stabilized housing situation. The goal of the money provided by the grant is to bridge the gap between short-term and long-term rental assistance.
“It’s a start, there’s a lot more we have to do. Finding housing is kind of the short-term issue, because a majority of these people are suffering from some type of mental illness or mental disability. So, we’ve really got to get our arms around that, so that way we can solve the problem long-term,” Barrera said.
The grant from the TDHCA is a yearly grant, and city officials said they will continue to apply for it each year, to continuing to help those in need in the area.