By Yvette Tello

On Nov 11, 2019, News 4 spoke to officials on the growing issue of homelessness in San Antonio. The HOMELESS TOWN HALL panellists included: Joe Gonzales, Bexar County District Attorney, Brenda Mascorro, Executive Director for South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless (SARAH)Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Mayor of San Antonio, Dominic Gonzalez, person who was formerly homeless, Kenny Wilson, CEO of Haven for Hope What do you think needs to be done?  Let’s talk about it…

Vanessa Martinez Campos: “We need better educational and income opportunities for the families in SA. Educa- tion and stable incomes help reduce DV/IPV.That means starting in PreK and going all the way through high school, not giving up on getting our children educated and pre- pared for jobs that will help them thrive.We also need to make sure everyone in SA has living wages. Iowa State also created an educational program for offenders that reduced recidivism. Hand in hand these two ideas would be excellent prevention tech- niques.”

RD Gonzales: “ The focus should by helping those in OUR city first ! Homelessness is a multi-faceted problem. There isn’t just one answer to the problem but many ways to help that don’t always mean just giving a handout. Programs to help people get back on their feet and be independent. It’s doesn’t happen overnight and it’s a process. If there’s hope within someone, there’s a chance to improve their life.”

Manny Santana Montilla: “Self supporting homeless mini townes within the city. Let them run their own area to include businesses set up by investors giving profits back to support the townes. Give tax breaks to those that support it. All jobs are given to homeless to help themselves. Use the camaraderie they already have developed on the streets. Give volunteer hours to those not homeless to help with clothing and food donations. We have to many organizations on their own doing their own thing. Give them storefronts in this town to help. Set up laws and by laws to keep it clean with assigned personnel in specific jobs. There are plenty of places not being used in this town.”

Letty Martinez: “This mayor also loves to give churches that open their sanctuary to feed these people and minister to them a hard time! I wonder why? It’s not only haven for hope that works with these homeless , the church under the bridge is a great organization as well and taking it to the streets. These organizations even offer to help the homeless. Why were they not invited to speak in your town home?”

Stephanie Martinez: “Good luck to all n God bless “

Loretta Ybarra:”Quit bringing homeless people from other states in like New Yorkers y’all are bad for that I know the city is getting a kick back for every homeless person that is sent here”

Terry Ramos: “Maybe affordable dorm rooms so they still pay there way some way to encourage them to find work and if they can’t am sure they can help with that too”

Joseph Ortiz: “Stop helping the illegals with housing and moving them from City to city. House and feed the homeless, give them the help to get them off the street.”

Del Tita Dls: “I do my best to feed them on upcoming holidays . Not all homeless people are bad the way people think. I don’t give out money I offered to buy food and if they say no then I’ll tell them sorry but I don’t give cash. Most of them do understand and will take the food. I’ll be out there next weekend to give them their pre-thanksgiving lunch with some hygiene bags.”

Ruben Ronin Trejo:” This happens in EVERY DEMOCRATIC run city…. stop voting for democrats”

Candace Little: “ Stop giving housing to illegals and fake refugees would be a start. Americans are denied help but there’s many agencies that only help illegals and the fake refugees.”