The City of Houston, along with METRO and the Houston Recovery Center, is studying the feasibility of converting a downtown segment of METRO property into a small, temporary, outdoor, safe-space for homeless individuals.
This potential pilot program would provide a safe and healthy environment while individuals work with area agencies on their permanent housing options. It would include professional management, 24-hour security and supportive services.
The potential program is part of Mayor Sylvester Turner’s plan, announced in March, to increase innovative emergency shelter and permanent housing options for the homeless.
In addition to the space available for any homeless person interested in staying at traditional indoor shelters, this new potential program near the McKee Street bridge would be another option for those living on the streets or in an encampment. It’s being considered in consultation with the Coalition for the Homeless and would be integrated into The Way Home, Houston’s community-led, nationally recognized homeless housing initiative.
Through The Way Home, over 100 area organizations are working together to reduce homelessness. Since 2012, more than 11,000 homeless individuals in Houston have been permanently housed, resulting in a 60% reduction in overall homelessness. About 3,400 homeless individuals are homeless on any given night in greater Houston area, with nearly 70% of them residing in area shelters.