El Paso launches new program to help homeless

EL PASO, Texas - More than 1,100 men, women and children are homeless in El Paso, according to a study conducted by Opportunity Center for the Homeless.

That’s an 8 percent increase compared to last year. However, a new program is looking to reduce the number of people living on the streets.

El Paso Mayor Dee Margo announced the new initiative during a press conference Thursday morning.

Margo said, “We must not forget the most vulnerable in our community – the homeless.”

According to organizers, the new program will revolve around reaching out to people living on the streets.

Alfredo Machuca lives at the local rescue center and told KTSM, “In my opinion, it’s a very good idea.”

Machuca moved to the mission after completing a rehab program and said living there gives him a chance to get back on his feet.

He said, “Even right now I’m working for them and it’s helping people on the streets not able to stay here.”

John Martin with Opportunity Center for the Homeless said, "The intent and the idea is to engage them and so we can encourage them to come off of the streets and to seek the services that they need."

The $250,000 program is the first homeless outreach initiative funded by the city which will be using money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD.

Organizers said they hope to help about 700 people in the first year.


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