Survey Reveals New Face of Homelessness in West Texas 7/26/12
CBS 7 Reporter
July 26, 2012
Odessa, TX - The homeless population in Odessa is facing new challenges.
While many are able to find work, it's housing for their family that is nearly impossible to come by.
Odessa Links surveyed 105 homeless people, 36 of them children. They say this snapshot of our local homeless population reveals a new face of homelessness in West Texas.
"(We receive a) Minimum of 10 calls a day of someone coming, moving their family here they have nowhere to go, nowhere to live," explains Erika Chavez with Odessa Links.
According to the survey from Odessa Links, nearly 60% of those that responded are homeless for the first time.
"That number just continues to jump and I think a lot of it has to do with or housing market and the rent rates," Chavez explains.
The majority of people, just over 20%, say they became homeless because they were unemployed, but the reason they stay homeless is because they can't afford the cost of living.
Still, over half of those surveyed are currently unemployed... a number that Odessa links says is unacceptable.
"There should be no reason why you can't find some sort of employment,” says Chavez. “Even if it’s not in the direct route that you're wanting to go, we encourage them they you have to have some sort of income for your household to move forward"
Odessa Links says their next survey will be in January of next year. They do expect the homeless unemployment numbers to decrease by that time.