Longview Mayor Mack speaks out about Homeless Task Force - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Longview Mayor Mack speaks out about Homeless Task Force

Longview Mayor Andy Mack talks about his Homeless Task Force. Photo by Jamey Boyum KLTV. Longview Mayor Andy Mack talks about his Homeless Task Force. Photo by Jamey Boyum KLTV.
LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -

It has been several months since Mayor Andy Mack organized his homeless task force in Longview to address the complicated issues of the homeless.

We spoke with the mayor before his update of the task force at this Thursday’s City Council Meeting.

Longview Mayor Andy Mack takes the homeless situation in Longview very seriously and knows there’s no single quick fix.

“People say you haven’t talked to the homeless to see what they need. Well, let me explain something. They’re homeless. They need a home. That’s the definition of the term, " Mack said. "We’re trying to provide people an opportunity to get out of the situation that they’re in, into a better situation. If we could provide work that allows them to earn a living, we’ve done our job."

At the Hiway 80 Rescue Mission, Executive Director Eric Burger says the homeless aren’t just addicts.

“That’s I think the biggest challenge is the amount or different reasons that people are homeless is greater than ever,” Burger said.

The rescue mission does their best to meet each need.

Mayor Mack’s task force has ten topics about homelessness that are being addressed, but a good final solution will take time to accomplish.

“It does no good to get someone to the point that they can get out of homelessness, and not have a home to go into, so we have to provide that in what we are trying to accomplish here,” Mack explained.

So they are discussing housing options that are down the road.

He says one of the task force’s goals is to define what the role of city government is.

“We’ve defined those parameters and there are things that government will participate in, but there are even more things that the government does not participate in but will encourage organizations and individuals and citizens to participate in,” Mack revealed.

And the thirty-member task force’s blue print for solutions is needed as soon as possible.

“We’re in big challenges right now because as the need goes up our donations have been going down,” Burger added.

The Hiway 80 Rescue Mission prepared a homeless review and assessment which is posted here.

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