HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the city’s $100 million initiative to house thousands of homeless people.
Turner was joined by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Interim Executive Director Anthony Love (virtually), and President and CEO of the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County Michael Nichols.
The city’s goal is to make critical enhancements that will help bring the region closer to ending homelessness, according to a release.
Turner said the city of Houston and Harris County united to launch phase 2 of the Community COVID Homeless Housing program, which launched in October 2021. He said phase 2 will help house 7,000 people who are suffering from homelessness in three years, reducing the homeless population by more than 50%.
“In Houston, we either go big or we go home. Today, we go big so most Houstonians go home,” Turner said.
The city of Houston and Harris County officially signed on to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness national House America Initiative.
The mayor said he was grateful for the funds that were provided by state, federal and private organizations to help make this initiative happen.
“We are not resting on our laurels, together, we will do more, and we must keep the momentum going,” Turner said. “Therefore, Houston and Harris County are doubling down and once again partnering with the Coalition for the Homeless and fellow agencies to launch the largest and most ambitious homeless initiative in the history of the City and County. Together, we can strategically utilize COVID-19 related funding to turn the crisis of the pandemic into an opportunity to reduce homelessness further and save lives.”
“By pulling together in the same direction, Harris County and Houston are showing the rest of America how to get within striking distance of solving an intractable issue like homelessness,” Hidalgo said. “Our rapid deployment of creative, effective programs is changing countless lives for the better. This is how we make our community stronger, more resilient, and prosperous for everyone.”
“After a lifetime of working in public safety, I have focused on keeping our entire community safe for decades,” Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia said. “We chose to partner again with the City of Houston and the Coalition for the Homeless on the Community COVID Housing Program because housing the homeless not only protects the homeless, it protects the broader community.”