City Council members on Tuesday heard about the progress made in the past 12 months by the city-appointed El Paso Coalition for the Homeless from Dave Gillooly, the assistant director of the El Paso Opportunity Center.
The initiative, he
said, was the result of a directive from the Department of Housing and Urban Development
administration last year that the nation's major cities come up with 10-year plans for ending homelessness in their communities.Gillooly
said El Paso was the first Texas city to develop such a plan and to begin to put it in motion.
"We want to keep the task force going and not just have the plan gather dust on a shelf," Gillooly
said."We want this new administration to add a few people and give us direction."
On Jan. 19, he
said, a count of the homeless came up with a total of 1,576 in the city, which has 29 shelters capable of housing almost that many, 1,541.
"But we were not able to count a bunch of people," he
said."We estimate that in the course of a year there are 10,000 to 15,000 El Pasoans who are homeless."
Last week, he
said, the Opportunity Center
opened a 16-unit transitional living center for homeless women at 1318 Myrtle, where it also has a 12-room center for single women who are homeless.