San Antonio Town Council approves lease of downtown resort as homeless shelter

SAN ANTONIO – The Town of San Antonio will lease a downtown lodge to use as a lower-barrier shelter for persons experiencing continual homelessness.

The metropolis council voted 10-1 on Thursday to utilizes CARES Act dollars to pay back $1.2 million to lease the Days Inn on East Houston Road, in close proximity to IH-37, and a further $1.7 million for SAMMinistries to run it. District 10 Councilman Clayton Perry was the lone vote towards it.

The lease begins July 1.

SAMMinistries President and CEO Nikisha Baker suggests the 50-space resort will be a “housing-focused” shelter. About 45 of the rooms will be utilized for housing. There will also be solutions like mental wellness counseling, relationship to material abuse cure, ID restoration products and services, employment assist and peer assistance.

The metropolis and SAMMinistries expect about 250 men and women to pass via the resort more than the class of the calendar year, and about 40% to end up in long term housing.

“Our prepare is that people will continue to be with us for 90 to 120 times. And in that interval of time, we’re doing the job with them to get better ID, to get the paperwork that they have to have to get onto that coordinated entry listing for long lasting housing solutions, and then going them via that pipeline,” Baker stated.


Individuals will be referred to the lodge by road outreach groups. The “low-barrier” for entry implies men and women won’t need to have to have an ID or be sober to stay there. They can’t drink or use medicine on the assets, nor will they get kicked out for not participating in system services.

Baker mentioned registered sex offenders could also get products and services.

“The proximity of the resort was built with that in head, so that we did not exclude a particular population of the homeless people that we want to serve there,” Baker reported.

The spot is surrounded by the highway and other hotels. The twin director of revenue at the nearby SpringHill Suites by Marriott Alamo Plaza/Convention Center, Sarah Pegues, stated their aim is holding their guests comfortable and harmless. They experience associates of the local community have earned a house to do the similar.

“We’re trusting that the management at the new facility will do a great career of trying to keep that in line by maintaining everybody in the local community and encompassing spots secure and relaxed,” Pegues explained.


The town has now been leasing area at two other motels downtown — a person to aid with potential at Haven for Hope all through the pandemic and a block of rooms at yet another for COVID-19 isolation.

The latter lodge is also where SAMMinistries has been jogging a scaled-down pilot plan due to the fact April of what they plan to do at Times Inn in a handful of rooms.

George Hernandez and Magda Rodriguez are taking part in the pilot and praise SAMMinistries work. The pair experienced been living in a ditch, but now, keeping in the resort, Rodriguez has been capable to get a occupation, and Hernandez is working on acquiring his ID — a frequent concern for numerous persons dealing with homelessness.

“We have a additional constructive outlook on the foreseeable future, and I’m delighted for that. And I informed her, ‘now we get married, for true,’” Hernandez claimed, standing future to a beaming Rodriguez.

Perry, who was the only council member to vote versus the prepare, questioned how competently the metropolis was now making use of its funds to assistance the homeless population. He also took exception to the process that brought the situation ahead, noting that it didn’t go by way of a committee.


Other council customers echoed his problems about a lack of enter. Even so, they ended up voting for the lease and running agreement.

“I want to make certain that we do have a more extensive public enter process in the future,” said Mario Bravo, the new District 1 councilman. “At the identical time, there are several persons who are residing on the road right now who really do not have time for a new council member to appear in and say, ‘You know, I’m right here to just jam up the gears and slow down the process. And we’re heading to have a extensive and thorough evaluate ahead of we consider about it before we make a decision how to transfer ahead.’ I’m heading to rely on that that metropolis workers have been undertaking this for a while and are producing fantastic conclusions for us.”

City Manager Erik Walsh advised council associates the town has been discussing accommodations “for the last 6 months at a variety of unique council briefings,” specifically the risk of shopping for one. On the other hand, he mentioned, they’ve found other metropolitan areas stumble by speeding to buy a constructing and then figure out who will work it.


“We believe this team alternate, which has been labored on for some time — and a number of of council customers pointed out — is a excellent take a look at pilot for the upcoming yr to probably see what problems we may well have, or the operator could have, how it may possibly suit into a likely bond system,” Walsh explained.

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