Woman seeks help as her homeless shelter faces closure


by Rucks Russell / KHOU 11 News


Posted on November 7, 2012 at 11:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 7 at 11:41 PM

HOUSTON—A southwest Houston homeless shelter is operating on borrowed time, and some of the residents are living in fear.

“It’s scary,” said Nate Jenkins, a 47-year-old resident who’s lived at the Second Chance Refuge run by the New Deliverance Church since May.

“It I have to leave, it would hurt.  It would really hurt,” he said.

Jenkins is not alone.

A total of 29 residents could be forced to move out after City of Houston Code Enforcement officials cited the facility for not having a certificate of occupancy.

Officials ordered the operators to install sprinklers and egress windows, and called the existing structure dangerous.

“I’m very upset about it,” said Reverend Janice Caslin, who helps run the operation.   “I don’t know what to do.  I’m seeking all the help I can get.”

A year ago, the facility nearly shut down when funding began to dry up.   Most of the residents are former convicts who have no place else to go.

“I want to be in compliance with the city,” said Caslin.  “I’m not trying to neglect anything.  I’ve just had a hard time.”

Caslin plans to appeal the notice, which could buy her more time to make the needed improvements.

Some residents just hope they won’t have to move out.

“It would be a really big blow,” Jenkins said.