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Community-wide efforts underway to permanently house at least 500 homeless people by New Year's Eve

CARES Act funds will go toward achieving the mission of housing hundreds of homeless people, although finding available affordable housing can be a challenge.

SAN ANTONIO — A community-wide effort involving the City of San Antonio and several organizations aims to secure permanent housing for 500 homeless people by the end of the year.

The South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless (SARAH) and City of San Antonio Department of Human Services are working together on this mission, which comes during a time where housing prices are going up and hundreds of unsheltered people are requiring assistance.

“If we can rally together, get support from the community, we can absolutely house 500 people by New Year’s Eve,” said SARAH Executive Director Katie Vela.

SARAH is partnered with multiple organizations to find permanent housing for members of the local homeless community.

“This community effort to house people currently experiencing homelessness takes place at a scale without precedent in San Antonio. By combining Federal resources with our local know-how and dedication, we will make a difference for hundreds of people. I commend SARAH and our partner agencies for taking on the challenge. This housing surge is a product of the Community Homeless Strategic Plan and the City’s COVID-19 Recovery and Resiliency Plan, outlining our responses to the twin challenges of homelessness and the pandemic,” said Melody Woosley, director of the City of San Antonio Department of Human services.

More than $5 million in CARES Act funds will help people in need and

“We have dollars available to pay for rental assistance and case manager support and those supportive services and those visits to people in housing are really critical to help people stabilize. It can be a big transition for people who’ve been living unsheltered for quite some time.”

Vela is advocating for more affordable housing in San Antonio, including facilities with special services to ensure the residents are taken care of through any issues they be experiencing to avoid becoming homeless again.

She noted it's difficult to find units that are affordable, especially for people living on a fixed income and those with criminal backgrounds. 

“But what we really struggle with is we don’t have site-based permanent supportive housing so a place where people can live long term with services on site,” Vela said.

SARAH and other groups managed to secure permanent housing for 483 people between January and July of this year.

SARAH’s Housing Strategies Workgroup has coordinated with landlords and housing providers to find available openings.

To learn more, click here.


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