Homeless Lingering Around the Ector County Library Make Some Nervous 9/4/13
CBS 7 News
The Ector County Library is located directly next door to the Noel Plaza Park. In the evenings, there are anywhere from 30-35 homeless settling in for the night in the area and not everyone's happy about it.
Odessans come to Noel Plaza Park take a break, have a quiet lunch, some even get married under the trees. But once night falls, the homeless settle in with their sleeping bags.
"I feel that it is unsafe because they are unstable, and they're using the money to buy drugs and alcohol," said local Resident Rebecca Campbell. “I used to be homeless, so I know. I went to Salvation Army, got a job, and got back on track.”
Meribeth Gibson with the City's Park and Recreation Department says the park is difficult to keep clean but every once in a while the people who call it home will lend a hand.
It isn't just the park that's impacted. The director of the Ector County Library says the homeless tend to find their way into the facility. "We have people who park at the front door, and we don't let them do that."
Director Taylor says when problems do arise, they contact the odessa police department for help. "But we show them respect and dignity."
Since January 1st, Odessa Police report 37 complaints for everything from loitering to theft...even gun related crimes and suicide attempts. Yet, others feel the homeless are simply lost and need to be re socialized.
"We try to transitionalize them and re socialize them into society," said Jesus House Pastor Donny Kyker.
He says he's seen many of the homeless who reside in Noel Plaza Park getting jobs and trying to re socialize in society. He says it’s actually a good thing.