Survey: Homeless count falls in Texarkana, AR - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Survey: Homeless count falls in Texarkana, AR

Posted: Updated:
Randy Sams Outreach Shelter Randy Sams Outreach Shelter
Nick Pennington says he became homeless when his car broke down in Texarkana. Now he has a job and is becoming self-sufficient again. Nick Pennington says he became homeless when his car broke down in Texarkana. Now he has a job and is becoming self-sufficient again.
TEXARKANA, AR (KSLA) -

Results of a survey conducted earlier this year show that the number of people who are homeless in Texarkana, Arkansas is on the decline.

The new numbers show that the city is moving in the right direction in solving the homeless problem.

"I don't think anyone expects to be homeless. It's not something I was necessarily proud of," says Nick Pennington, who is without a home at the moment.

Pennington found himself homeless when his car broke down earlier this year while traveling through Texarkana.

"I had no friends in the area, no one I knew personally, nowhere to stay, and no money to stay with if I did have a place to stay."

Pennington is now a guest at the Randy Sams Outreach Center, which is part of the Texarkana Homeless Coalition. The Coalition did a survey on the number of homeless in Texarkana, and the results were encouraging.

"All we want the end of the day is to make sure that people are safely and stably housed, and the numbers indicate that is beginning to happen," says Jennifer Laurent, Randy Sams Director.

The survey lists the number of homeless at 366, which is down nearly 50 people from the previous year. 41 percent of homeless people surveyed, including Pennington, say they have some type of employment.

"Slowly but surely getting things together and my feet back under me," he says.

Coalition members say programs held for Randy Sams is helping to alleviate homelessness, but more work is needed.

"Even with declining numbers, there were 366 counted this year, and we know for every one of those there is one we don't know about," Laurent says.

According to the survey, the average length of homelessness in Texarkana is just more than 10 months.

Copyright 2013 KSLA. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow