Haven For Hope says area is safe despite recent deaths

'Haven For Hope' is a refuge for San Antonio's homeless population seeking a safe place to stay for the night, week, or sometimes much longer. However two recent deaths have made some wonder just how safe the center really is.

SAN ANTONIO - Haven For Hope is a refuge for San Antonio's homeless population seeking a safe place to stay for the night, week, or sometimes much longer.

However, two recent deaths have made some wonder just how safe the center really is.

One of those deaths was sudden, a man in his 30s that was found dead in his bed. That occurred in one of the Haven's dorms July 18 without a cause so far.

The other was a stabbing death in the neighboring Terrace Apartments on July 24.

Those working at Haven For Hope and those living nearby say despite these two incidents, the Haven and the area around the campus are still safer than much of the rest of the city.

"We are sisterhood. We are brotherhood. We have all live through a lot of experiences together and we network with one another to help one another through difficult times," Beaux Gilliam who works at Haven said.

Gilliam said he was the first resident to move in there after spending a year at Haven For Hope about five years ago, and he's never felt safer.

"We have cameras throughout on all the doors and cards you have to use to get in," Gilliam said.

He said incidents like the stabbing death July 24 just don't happen there.

"That's the first one since I've been there in five years that's ever happened," Gilliam said.

"It was a very unfortunate domestic violence episode," Kenny Wilson, the CEO and President of Haven For Hope said.

He told us the sudden death that occurred one week prior in one of the dormitories on campus is troublesome, but he also sees the positive.

Wilson said, "When they lose their life here which I said is rare we've had to learn this but I'm grateful they are here."

Wilson spoke of the campus and surrounding streets outside of the Haven For Hope gates, telling us they are monitored by 600 cameras, which are watched themselves by one of 40 licensed safety officers.

He said, "Because of the folks that live here we want it to be safe for them because many of them have come from environments that we're not safe." Gilliam added, "It's really one of the safest places to be honest with you on this side of town."

We also spoke with about ten businesses in the area who all told us they've heard of no other serious crimes in recent months and some years, and feel safe regardless of these two deaths in the past two weeks.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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