Quantcast

Ark-La-Tex In-Depth: Helping the Homeless - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Ark-La-Tex In-Depth: Helping the Homeless

Posted: Updated:
Texarkana, Arkansas -

Across the nation and here in the Ark-La-Tex homelessness is down and it's all thanks in part to a program started a couple of years ago that helps those facing eviction or homeless with rent assistance.
    
Is the decrease in the number of people living on the streets a misleading trend or is the program really working?

Before arriving at the Salvation Army, William Joseph Butler was living on the streets.
    
He says the center helped him get back on his feet.

First, he got a job and then they helped him with rental assistance.  
    
Butler has been living in an apartment complex for 6-months.
    
He still goes to the Salvation Army, but now he just visits for chapel service.
    
Butler says everything in his life changed when he qualified for the utility and rental assistance.

"The idea of the program is for you to become self-sufficient and be a contributor to society," said Butler.

In an effort to end homelessness, in 2010, federal money was granted to start the rent assistance program, but that program has since ended.  
    
Now through state funds, the Salvation Army provides utility and rental assistance to dozens of homeless families in Texas and Arkansas.
    
Lt. Jimmy Parrish says this year nearly 130 homeless people were placed in homes on both the Texas and Arkansas-side.

The program provides payment for the first month's rent.

"We see that the stability is starting to come that they are not coming back to the homeless shelters," said Lt. Parrish.
    
Results from a recent homeless count show the program is working.
    
The number of homeless people estimated to be living in Texarkana declined from 432 last year to 366 this year.  
    
More than 41 percent of the homeless population surveyed have full time, part time or temporary employment.  
    
There were also about 15 families reported as homeless with an average of two children per family.

"I think it's a good trend in that we are having housing programs, people are getting back into homes, finding jobs and stabilizing their families," said Lt. Parrish.
 
However, he says some of the numbers can be misleading.
    
For every homeless person surveyed, Parrish says there's about ten they don't find.
    
While the salvation army office is location in Texarkana, Arkansas, they serve five counties in Arkansas and two in Texas.
    
Starting next year, Lt. Parrish says they'll only be able to provide rental assistance to the homeless population on the Arkansas-side.

Randy Sams' Outreach Center in Texarkana, Texas also provides rental assistance.

This year, they've been able to help about 200 people with the state funded grant.
    
That's a total of nearly $26,000 in rent assistance.
    
The program runs runs from October to June.
    
All those accepted into the program must meet income requirements, be a Bowie resident, and show an eviction notice or be homeless.

  • KTBS 3 InvestigatesMore>>

  • KTBS 3 Investigation finds low levels of chlorine in Shreveport's public pools

    KTBS 3 Investigation finds low levels of chlorine in Shreveport's public pools

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-07-28 02:00:13 GMT
    National data from the CDC reveals one in eight pool inspections found serious violations that threatened public health and safety and resulted in immediate closure. Pretty gross, right? 
    National data from the CDC reveals one in eight pool inspections found serious violations that threatened public health and safety and resulted in immediate closure. Pretty gross, right? 
  • Overton Brooks' Patient's appointment cancellation causes concern

    Overton Brooks' Patient's appointment cancellation causes concern

    Friday, July 11 2014 2:28 PM EDT2014-07-11 18:28:29 GMT
    We've been told by many veterans that they receive quality care at the V.A. hospital in Shreveport. But for some getting an appointment to see their caregivers is the challenge. According to our V.A., they do not have a problem getting patients seen quickly - and the numbers they report echo that conclusion. We’ve uncovered concerns, however, over how their numbers look so good - while patients are still waiting to be seen.“Certainly from my viewpoint here, as a veteran, as a physician, the c...
    We've been told by many veterans that they receive quality care at the V.A. hospital in Shreveport. But for some getting an appointment to see their caregivers is the challenge. According to our V.A., they do not have a problem getting patients seen quickly - and the numbers they report echo that conclusion. We’ve uncovered concerns, however, over how their numbers look so good - while patients are still waiting to be seen.“Certainly from my viewpoint here, as a veteran, as a physician, the c...
  • Overton Brooks Patient says V.A. is lying about access to care

    Overton Brooks Patient says V.A. is lying about access to care

    Friday, July 11 2014 2:14 PM EDT2014-07-11 18:14:50 GMT
    So far we've brought you a whistle blower employee, and then, after two weeks of waiting, you heard the official V.A. response. But it's said that there are three sides to every story.“We're not challenged for access at Overton Brooks, we can provide same day access, that's why we're encouraging same day access, that's why we're encouraging veterans to enroll into our system.” Those are the words from Interim Director at Overton Brooks V.A. Medical Center, Toby Mathew, during the news confere...
    So far we've brought you a whistle blower employee, and then, after two weeks of waiting, you heard the official V.A. response. But it's said that there are three sides to every story.“We're not challenged for access at Overton Brooks, we can provide same day access, that's why we're encouraging same day access, that's why we're encouraging veterans to enroll into our system.” Those are the words from Interim Director at Overton Brooks V.A. Medical Center, Toby Mathew, during the news confere...
  • NationalMore>>

  • After 6 weeks, finally a deal on VA health care

    After 6 weeks, finally a deal on VA health care

    Monday, July 28 2014 4:07 AM EDT2014-07-28 08:07:33 GMT
    After more than six weeks of sometimes testy talks, House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a compromise plan to fix a veterans health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records...
    After more than six weeks of sometimes testy talks, House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a compromise plan to fix a veterans health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up...
  • Trial opening over video of Oklahoma City bombing

    Trial opening over video of Oklahoma City bombing

    Monday, July 28 2014 3:45 AM EDT2014-07-28 07:45:51 GMT
    A Salt Lake City attorney is arguing in a lawsuit that the FBI has video of the Oklahoma City bombing that shows a second person was involved.
    A Salt Lake City attorney is arguing in a lawsuit that the FBI has video of the Oklahoma City bombing that shows a second person was involved.
  • Man dies after lightning hits California beach

    Man dies after lightning hits California beach

    Monday, July 28 2014 3:45 AM EDT2014-07-28 07:45:42 GMT
    A 20-year-old man died after lightning from a rare summer thunderstorm jolted a Southern California beach, injuring or rattling more than a dozen people, authorities said.
    A 20-year-old man died after lightning from a rare summer thunderstorm jolted a Southern California beach, injuring or rattling more than a dozen people, authorities said.
Section sponsored by:
  • KTBS 3 News Tips

    Send your news tip or story idea to the KTBS 3 Newsroom.  Enter your email address below to get started.

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thank you for your submission to KTBS 3 News.  A member of our staff may contact you for more information.

Share Your Images
Powered by WorldNow
    Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KTBS. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
    Advertising | EEO Public File | KTBS 3 Public File | KPXJ 21 Public File