Amarillo Homeless Plan? It’s On The Table.
We've all started to see it around Amarillo, even though it's not a NEW issue.
However, it is a growing issue due to the economy and how tough times are right now.
Homelessness in Amarillo has seemingly grown to new highs, and if we don't do something about it now, it may spiral out of control.
It's not a new thing to see people on major streets in the city asking for money, offering their services for work, etc. Homelessness has been around for a long time. With the rising cost of living though and people still without work, whether by choice or not, more and more people are ending up on the streets of Amarillo as their "home".
I know I've personally seen more homeless camps popping up around the areas I have a tendency to frequent, and the city recognizes that as well.
That's why there's a proposal on the table right now that will help with some of that, but like anything, it comes with a price tag.
The Amarillo City Council held a meeting on Tuesday where the director of community development for the city of Amarillo Jason Riddlespurger detailed the growing problem, mentioning there are 539 homeless people in the 806, with 368 of those people without shelter.
Not helping the issue is the fact that Amarillo has just ONE daytime shelter and two nighttime shelters. Riddlespurger came up with a plan. His idea is to create a tiny home community near downtown for those without shelter.
He wants the city to partner with the company Pallet Shelters. They produce these prefabricated shelters that would provide those without shelter a place to go. These shelters come complete with electricity, A/C, heat, and security. They can withstand the weather Amarillo sees at times and have a lifespan of 10 years.
One thing they do not come with is water or sewage, which Riddlespurger also had a plan for. He proposed building community bathrooms and showers for these residents to be able to use.
The entire plan will cost between $2-3 million dollars, but nearly $1.2 million of those funds will come from the American Rescue Plan Act from the federal government. He is looking to partner with local nonprofit agencies to provide the rest of the funding and staffing for the community.
Personally, I love the idea. It will give these people a place to stay, help "clean up" the streets of downtown and surrounding areas, as well as give these people the tools to be able to go on job interviews and try to pull themselves out of a hole.
The council will meet on the proposal and decide if this is something they want to do at a later date.