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Salvation Army offering salvation to displaced 'Tent City' population

TENT CITY REFUGE.jpg
Posted at 6:00 PM, May 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 11:48:40-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Local advocates are working to relocate the homeless from their local, massive self-created community.

As KRIS Communications has reported, several homeless people built a community in a little-used park in a mostly deserted neighborhood on the city's North Side.

That community, now, has become unsafe for them.

“Things were going really well, there was a community that was forming,” said Bruce Wilson, a local retired Episcopal minister.

Wilson, who is also a homeless advocate, said the North Side tent city wasn't a perfect solution, but it kept those living there away from trouble. Recently, however, that community has been overrun, he said, by the wrong elements: drugs, gangs, and violence.

“It was immediately clear this was not a safe situation," he said. "We immediately needed to improve the (situation for) legitimate homeless people."

Salvation Army of the Coastal Bend Commanding Officer Patrick Gesner said several of the tent community's residents reached out to his organization, saying they were "ready to make a change.”

He said the Salvation Army used money from city grants and private donors to find members of this homeless community a new place to stay.

“We've been putting them into a hotel, temporarily, until we can find more affordable housing available long-term for them,” Gesner said.

Gesner said the idea is to get people off the street and into a new life.

So far, more than 40 have taken him up on the offer.

“Some of those people are single, but some have children -- small children -- and they're sick and tired of living this way; they want to get out," he said. "That's the goal -- to get people into housing."

Gesner said the Salvation Army has enough money to continue the program for about 30 days.

If you’re willing to donate, visit the local Salvation Army website, or send checks to the Salvation Army at 521 Josephine St., Corpus Christi, TX, 78401.