Inflation, gas prices, and the end of the eviction moratorium are reasons why Haven for Hope is currently seeing an influx of individuals seeking shelter.
On Tuesday, CEO and President of Haven for Hope Kim Jefferies updated Commissioner’s Court about the latest situation she is seeing at their campus.
“We’re at 112% of our design capacity,” Jefferies said.
Design capacity can hold about 1,400 people, but at maximum, the facility can shelter close to 1,800 people. Currently, there are close to 1,600 people, but some are sleeping in other non-dorm areas, including the chapel and classrooms.
Jefferies also said that while an influx like this has happened before, they are seeing more families and single women seeking help.
“We’re seeing an explosion of families who are needing those services because they’re having to choose between putting food on the table or paying the rent, and they’re choosing food over rent,” Jefferies said.
More than 160 families and close to 200 women are staying at the Haven for Hope campus, officials said.
As the county and city continue to grow, Jefferies is hoping more housing funding can be given to Haven for Hope and also stressed the importance of improving the county’s homeless response system.
“San Antonio is on this path where we’re going to grow by a million people by 2040. So what does that mean for our homeless response system?” Jefferies said. “And so how are we working together with our partners, the city and the county, to make sure we’re prepared for that?”
As Haven for Hope deals with the latest influx, they are also seeking donations. But no matter how full their campus gets, they will never turn anybody away.
“We do whatever we can to ensure that there is space for any individual who is seeking shelter in this community,” Jefferies said. “It may not be an ideal space, and it may be a makeshift space until we until we figure out a long-term solution for this growth, but we’ll find a way for everybody.”