Homeless families faced with fewer resources, more competition

Published: Aug. 3, 2018 at 9:29 PM CDT
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The high cost of living in the Permian Basin is driving some families to homelessness.

There are dozens of resources in the area for those facing homelessness, but homeless families are faced with fewer resources, and more competition.

Joe has Status Epilepticus, a severe form of Epilepsy, which has left him unable to work.

His family of six doesn’t have a permanent address, because of a housing scam, according to the family.

In their period of homelessness, the family discovered that it’s hard to find shelter and stay together.

“Cause its my family. What family doesn’t want to be together? What family wants to be broke apart? What kids don’t want to wake up with their father and mother every morning? Why should any family be broke apart?” he said.

Joe contacted many shelters, but made a discovery.

“They could have taken me, but not my family,” he said.

There are around 13 homeless shelters listed online in Midland and Odessa. Out of those, only around four house families together.

Other shelters focus on helping single mothers, those escaping domestic abuse, and men.

And those that do house families, are struggling to meet the demand.

One of these non-profit shelter programs is Family Promise of Midland.

“Currently in our program, we are full. We have nine families. It’s a total of 40 people. Thirty children and 10 adults. We get calls every day with people saying their rent has more than doubled, they’ve been evicted, they just have nowhere to go. We’ll get phone calls, at least three a day,” said administrative assistant Maddie West.

West said these calls are more than they received last year. The families who call go through an interview process, and are placed on a waiting list.

“We do have tons of families in the interview process,” West said.

And the Midland location isn’t the only one with more heads than beds.

“Family promise of Odessa, they’re also full. Salvation Army, I’m not sure of their status but a lot of times families will call and say ‘you know we couldn’t get a bed,’ just because there are so many other families in need. And the organizations do work together to do the best they can, but there’s simply not enough shelters,” West said.

West said there are several emergency shelters in the Permian Basin. And added that many, understandably, divide the families during the evening.