Homeless coalition works to keep vulnerable families from eviction

Homeless coalition works to keep vulnerable families from eviction

VICTORIA, Texas – The Victoria Area Homeless Coalition met via Zoom Thursday morning in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines. The Salvation Army, Be Well Victoria, Kids Connection and several other organizations make up the Victoria Area Homeless Coalition, whose mission is to organize programs, advocate awareness, and lead in developing community strategies to prevent and end homelessness.

Captain Kenny Jones of the Salvation Army says their shelter and social services never closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have not turned one person away for rent or utility assistance,” Jones said. “And so our costs have gone up exponentially.”

The Salvation Army has given up at least $48,000 to those in need of help with keeping a roof over their head. 

Yvonne Rossman with Kids Connection and the Victoria school district said 711 was the final count of homeless students for the 2019-2020 school year for students from pre-K through 12th grade.

Lisa Griffin, director of the Homeless Prevention Programs at Mid-Coast Family Services, shared a reminder that it takes at least two weeks to complete the rental assistance process. 

“Which is very frustrating to people who, who need to get back to their landlord right away,” Griffin said. “But it’s just a process we have to do inspections and things like that. So just be patient with us.”

Brooke Garcia from the Victoria County United Way shared that there are funds currently available for families in need with a limit of up to $5,000.

“You have to prove that it’s COVID-related and what it is that you’re needing that… we’re more than happy to get those out into the community,” Garcia said.

The next Homeless Area Coalition Meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. at E. Pine Street on Thursday, June 25 . 

Go here to learn more about the Victoria Area Homeless Coalition.