houston – The Coalition for the Homeless concluded its annual multi-day tally of homeless numbers in three counties on Friday.
Downtown Houston is among them. A business in the area said the proximity of homeless tents could be an eyesore and raise safety concerns for customers.
Tout Suite Café celebrated the grand opening of its third café in Trembly Park with a ribbon cutting ceremony. It’s less than two miles from the cafe’s other downtown cafe on the High Street.
“Before we had so-called tent cities ahead of us. We had big windows, [so] This has been our view for a long time,” said Danny Ruiz, general manager of Tout Suite.
Ruiz said having a homeless tent directly across from their cafe gives customers a negative perception that their safety is at risk. He said it wasn’t the best for business.
“People who live in the suburbs and don’t really understand city life are intimidated when they come in,” Ruiz said. “And I’ve really had enough, I’ve had to send people to their cars because it affects us. I’m not saying anything to them in any way. We love them. But it’s like, it does let in people have reconsidered.”
Ana Rausch is the Vice President of Program Operations for the Homeless Coalition.
This week, multiple volunteers counted and surveyed the number of homeless people in Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties to assess the state of homelessness.
“People who experience homelessness are more likely to be victims of crime than crime, so there are a lot of stereotypes about homelessness,” Rausch said.
According to the coalition, the number of homeless people will be reduced by 20% by 2022 compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2020.
While it looks and feels like the downtown population is growing, Rausch said Earl’s official figures will be released in the spring.
“Clear signs of homelessness can come, yes, more people everywhere, but we’ve seen that, but we’ve housed over 26,000 people since 2012,” Rausch said.
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