There are homeless people living in Comal County. This isn’t news to anyone.
What there isn’t, however, is a full-time homeless shelter available to them. As the county continues to grow at explosive rates — and there’s no sign that the growth is going to stop anytime soon — the need for that type of shelter will only continue to growth.
The 60-day winter shelter created by the Comal County Homeless Coalition in partnership with the McKenna Foundation and Connections is a step in the right direction. But it’s only a step.
While there are several organizations in the area that help tend to the homeless, or help keep impoverished persons from homelessness, or even help families facing a crisis, there will be people who slip through those cracks and have no place left to go.
People aren’t homeless out of laziness or weakness. The social, medical and economic pressures that drive most to that state are well documented and affect even those that we hold parades for and call heroes — like this nation’s veteran population.
What’s needed is a comprehensive survey of the size and scope of the challenge locally.
With no centralized shelter for services, people drift on the periphery, sleeping under highway overpasses and squatting in safe spaces they can find.
The McKenna Foundation has set an example for us all by giving seed funds to create a 60-day winter shelter in New Braunfels — but it’s just a start.
New Braunfels needs its leaders, both in service and in politics, to push for a study and a full-time shelter that accommodates everyone. Not just teens, not just families, not just abused women — but anyone who needs it.
New Braunfelsers should stop and consider donating today to the New Braunfels Community Foundation specifically for homelessness.
This problem is not too big for us to solve — but it will require everyone working together.