Neighbors Speak Out Against Proposed Homeless Shelter At Metro Bus Facility

Metro’s board has voted to draft an agreement with the City of Houston that would allow for a temporary shelter. But not everyone is happy with the idea

Under that proposal Metro would allow the city to use part of its Buffalo Bayou bus facility for a six-month pilot program. A 5,000-foot corner of the lot would accommodate homeless people who are waiting to get into more permanent housing.

Board member Lex Frieden said Metro "has to have an interest" in helping the homeless since many of those people now use buses and bus stops as shelter. But people who live and work near the McKee Street facility say they're worried about security as well as their property values.

Carlos Calbillo said he's been homeless himself but he doesn't think the plan will really help matters as they try to revitalize the neighborhood.

"For Metro which is a transportation agency, to suddenly branch out and become a provider of homeless shelters, it does not make any sense," adds Calbillo.

Metro Chairman Carrin Patman said she's in favor of the temporary shelter, but it's the city that will make the final decision.

"We are willing to help provide a holistic solution but all of the comments considered here today ultimately have to be passed upon by the City Council," said Patman.

The City of Houston is currently under a temporary restraining order barring enforcement of its anti-camping ordinance. There's a large homeless encampment just about a block away from the bus lot, under U.S. 59 near James Bute Park.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

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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