The more than 60 partners of The Way Home have reduced chronic homelessness by 70% and overall homelessness by nearly 50% in Houston, Harris County, and Fort Bend County, and our community is still on track to end chronic homelessness by the end of this year. As a result, two of our partner organizations will be undergoing changes in the coming weeks as part of a larger Downtown Transition Plan:
- Palmer's The Way Station will be closing permanently with a last day of service on August 28.
- The Beacon's Day Center will temporarily suspend services for capital improvements with a last day of service on September 21, and a re-open in mid-October (date subject to change based on construction schedules).
- Only the Day Center will be closed during this time. All other programs at the Dunn Center (Beacon Law, COMPASS, Coordinated Access, etc.) will remain open during construction.
We know that we have seen tremendous reductions in the number of homeless individuals in our community. Even with these successes, both The Way Station and The Beacon continue to see increases in the number of clients they serve. This is in large part due to the aggressive emergence of a new street drug called "kush." The abusers of this drug have begun to intermingle with clients at The Way Station, and have contributed to an increase in after-hours petty theft, drug dealing, and other difficult situations near The Beacon and in Downtown Houston.
The Way Station began communicating details of its closure with clients on August 3. As The Way Station closes, it will transition to assist with breakfast service at the Star of Hope Men's Development Center (1811 Ruiz Street). The Beacon Day Center is closing to implement capital improvements to the building, and when it reopens, it will do so with a new service model, focusing its services on those who are engaged with the other programs at the Dunn Center (Beacon Law, COMPASS, Coordinated Access, etc.). This new service model will reduce the number of clients accessing the Dunn Center by half.
Clients of both The Way Station and The Beacon Day Center will be encouraged to connect with organizations such as Star of Hope and Salvation Army. Both of thesse organizations are working with their shelter programs to help provide additional meal services to individuals who stay in their shelter, and to expand their programmatic capacity to engage as many individuals as possible in services to help end their homelessness. More information about other services such as mail, ID, and homeless documentation will be provided as soon as it is available. Click here to view a resource guide meant to provide unsheltered homeless individuals with the best resources to help them end their homelessness.
Should you have any questions you can contact:
- Eva Thibaudeau, Director of Programs, Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County at email@example.com
- Sara Brown, Communications Manager, Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Marc Eichenbaum, Deputy Special Assistant for Homeless Initiatives, City of Houston Mayor's Office at email@example.com
Again, this Downtown Transition Plan is one that symbolizes the success of The Way Home. With more than 2,500 chronically homeless individuals housed, we are demonstrating that permanent housing combined with supportive services is the key to ending homelessness. We want to ensure that we continue to efficiently and effectively connect homeless individuals to services to end their homelessness.