Homeless Issues Partnership, a local non-profit coalition surveys the homeless population

Posted at 7:37 PM, Jan 26, 2023

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Every January, the Homeless Issues Partnership conducts a point in count survey to bring awareness to issues within the homeless community in Nueces County.

The local nonprofit coalition surveys 35 different locations within Nueces County where homeless people are known to gather, to gain a better understanding of the homeless population.

Suzana Venezia tells us she's lived on and off the streets for three years.

"It takes so much more effort to get from that devastated point to where we're normally functioning,” Venezia said.

She’s made friends during this time, and they all agree there's a great need for the city to offer more resources.

"It's terrifying out here when there's inclement weather,” Venezia said. “It literally brings you to your knees. Without the resources that we've gotten so far but there is a huge need."

Kyle Knutson is the Social Services director for the Salvation Army and the president of the Homeless Issues Partnership Coalition. He said they want to bring more resources to help those struggling ultimately get off the streets.

"I work with grants and contracts and usually the four to five components which is street outreach, emergency shelter and homeless prevention,” Knutson said. “That's preventing someone from becoming homeless, their rent is paid for six months to keep them from living on the streets."

Knutson estimates there's 600 to 800 peoples in Nueces County without a home. Volunteers like Eddie Jackson-Mathis are trained to find out why.

"We just go out and talk to people that appear to be homeless and ask them for permission to interview them. Then, ask them the questions on the survey,” Mathis said.

Dozens of volunteers helped during today’s count, asking general questions like age and gender. But they want to know how long they've been without a steady place to stay.

Knutson tells us they won't have an exact number of today's point in time count until it is reviewed and approved by the U.S. Housing Urban Development Agency.

Once that happens, they'll receive funding to bring more resources to Nueces County. That will be available by early spring.