HOUSTON – A community is calling for change and more protection after the recent stabbing death of an 11-year old-boy.
Residents called for something to be done about the homeless population in the Near Northside during a community meeting Thursday night. They also want to see a better police presence on their streets.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he understands their anger and he's up to the challenge to make change happen.
"I know with these changes coming, I know nobody else will have to miss their brother, their son, nothing like this," said Juan Flores, the older brother of Josue.
On Thursday, Juan showed a plaque Josue would've received this Monday from school as he and his entire family were embraced by Turner and a community in mourning.
"I want there to be change so that any kid can walk, at any time of the day, and not have to fear for their lives," Flores said. "They could go to the store, walk from school and get home safe."
Hundreds packed the Castillo Community Center whether they knew Josue or not. Many complained to Turner and Houston Police Chief Martha Montalvo about the homeless problem plaguing this community—specifically when it comes to a Salvation Army building on North Main Street—as well as about safety concerns they have in light of Tuesday's brutal murder.
"There are some neighborhood where you will find things that work against the growth and safety and the vitality of community," Turner said, adding that he'll do everything in his power to take up their concerns. "The city of Houston hears you, the city of Houston sees you and the city will not ignore you.”
"I just hope that whatever happened, happened for a reason," Flores said.
Houston Police said they're addressing the issue of homelessness and in fact they've already removed five people from the streets of the Near Northside community in the past few days.