Longview Mayor Andy Mack is aiming to reduce homelessness in his community.
In March, he put together a team called the Mayor's Task Force on Homelessness. This team consists of a group of people who have assisted in other service organizations that help the homeless.
Mack submitted the task force's recommendations to the City Council on Thursday. The mayor stated, "We have a moral obligation to help those who are less fortunate."
Topics in the findings include decreasing the homeless population, addressing mental health, and considering a centralized area for the homeless population.
The task force considered that the degree of homelessness differs. The members of the task force placed homelessness in four different categories: situational homelessness, sheltered homelessness, unsheltered homelessness, and chronic unsheltered homelessness.
Shelters, nonprofit organizations, and law enforcement are encouraged to have quarterly meetings to coordinate action against homelessness to prevent duplicating efforts.
The task force also suggested holding service fairs to bring homeless people to a central location to apply for employment, find housing, get IDs and other services.
Other points were discussed during the task force meetings. Forming work programs, creating solicitation-free zones, and adding a Homeless Outreach Team within the Longview Police Department are other propositions that will be considered as solutions to the homelessness issue.