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Metro Transit Facility Could Soon Be Housing The Homeless

Metro’s board is expected to vote this week on approving an agreement with the city

Houston Metro.

Part of Metro’s bus facility on Buffalo Bayou could become a temporary homeless shelter. Metro's board is expected to vote Thursday on an agreement with the City of Houston that would allow the shelter to operate on a section of the lot just north of downtown.

Speaking before Metro's Public Safety Committee, Deputy CEO Tom Jasien said the shelter would be operated under a six-month pilot program.

“We think we can kind of carve out a corner of this lot that would allow for the buses to continue to operate," explained Jasien. "It would have no impact on the building whatsoever.”

Metro Chairman Carrin Patman said they’re keenly aware of the challenges homeless people face because many use the buses and trains.

“And the only solution is a holistic solution involving all the agencies and governmental entities," added Patman. "I think this is a way to meaningfully contribute with minimal cost to the agency.”

In a statement, the City of Houston said the temporary facility is part of Mayor Sylvester Turner’s plan to develop innovative housing options for people now living on the streets. The city is currently under a temporary restraining order that bars enforcement of its anti-camping ordinance, which prohibited people from setting up tents under bridges and freeways. The city recently deep-cleaned several homeless encampments near downtown over sanitation concerns.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

News Anchor

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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