WACO, Texas — The Heart of Texas Homeless Coalition and the City of Waco is working on a plan to reduce and prevent homelessness in the coming years and are now looking for community feedback.
The groups released a 34-page draft of the "Strategic Plan for Ending Homelessness", with the ultimate goal of bridging gaps of resources in the coming years.
The draft currently contains an analysis of the city's current homelessness situation and guidance for the next five years.
The city and coalition are now looking for the public to comment at public meetings or online.
"Ultimately, all of the feedback will be culminated together to make the final draft of the plan that will be presented to the city council for final approval," Heart of Texas Homeless Coalition board chairperson Nicole Wiscombe said.
Wiscombe said this plan is the first of its kind in Waco in 15 years. While details of the plan are not finalized yet, a final draft is expected to be finished in May and then presented to the city council for final approval.
The plan credits housing costs, unemployment, poverty, mental health struggles and substance abuse as the biggest factors leading to homelessness. With a plan underway, HOT Homeless Coalition board member Natalie McClure said there's a real chance to make sure everyone in Waco has a home.
"I think we have this opportunity to truly end homelessness," McClure said. "Our community partners come together, this can actually happen."
There will be two meetings for public comment on the plan in the next week. One will take place on Wednesday, March 23 at 5:30 p.m. at the Bledsoe-Miller Community Center and the other will take place on Monday, March 28 at 6 p.m. at the Dewey Community Center. To view the plan and leave feedback online, visit the City of Waco Housing website.