Houston's homeless plan promised: Where is it?

Houston mayor Sylvester Turner promised to unveil a plan to tackle homelessness last week, but it hasn't happened yet.

HOUSTON - Mayor Sylvester Turner missed his self-appointed deadline to reveal his plans for handling Houston’s homeless problem.

Skeptics questioned his resolve.

“Mr. Mayor, we need some relief,” one homeowner said. “I’ve reported (problems) to the police and nothing (is) happening.”

Twice in three weeks, crime climbed over the man’s fence. He and his neighbors had break-ins and a burglary.

Some in the neighborhood near Highway 59 and Wheeler insist the source of the crime is a “tent city” under an overpass.

It is the same camp that councilman Dwight Boykins promised would shrink in December. Three weeks later, Mayor Turner promised to address the same camp and others in his plan for Houston’s homeless.

“I intend to do that the week of Feb. 6,” Mayor Turner told KHOU 11 News in late January.

Now, his office blames the Super Bowl for the delay.

“Our schedule was slowed a bit by the Super Bowl,” Mayor Turner said in a statement to KHOU 11 News.  “Now that it is over, we are working diligently toward making an announcement before the end of February.”

“Just a lot of empty promises, extended deadlines and it’s a ticking time bomb,” one homeowner told us. “I don’t know if they’re waiting for somebody to get raped or murdered.”

Those camped under the overpass ignored help offered by Star of Hope Friday evening. One man in the camp named Spivey told KHOU 11 News he does not want help from the city.

“Because the help they’re going to give me isn’t the help I need,” he said. “I need peace, sir.”

Spivey said his tent is too comfortable to move.

“I have a couch,” Spivey said. “I have a bed… I have a phone. I have a laptop, too.”

While city clean-up crews dumped 156 tons of trash from camps around Houston in the last four months, police do not yet have authority to make anyone under the overpass move.

Some complaining neighbors got bashed online. It is why the man who spoke out did not want to give his name. However, he is hoping for relief.

“It’s very frustrating,” he said. “I’m ready to go back to my boring life, but I’m having to watch over my shoulder.”

(© 2017 KHOU)


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