Homeless Group Petitioning City to Build a Shelter in Flour Bluff

A group of homeless people have been waging a petition drive that calls for the City of Corpus Christi to build a homeless shelter in the Flour Bluff area.

Kiii News Reporter Michael Gibson spoke with organizers of that grassroots effort Friday at their homeless camp, just a hundred yards away from the main entrance to Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi.

Paul Long, a homeless man, knows all the spots where his fellow transients try to live.

"They're finding us wherever we're at and they're chasing us off, and believe me, you have to come back here on purpose to find somebody back here," Long said.

That is why long is happy to hear that a petition drive is underway in Flour Bluff. That drive is led by Corina Brandt, a homeless woman who wants to see a shelter built in their area.

"I've got 200, over 200 signatures on my petition," Brandt said. "I'm heading to City Council and starting there. I've never done this before. We've all got to learn somehow, right?"

"I think she's got a great idea. She needs to get something going and get the people behind her," Long said. "We need somewhere to go now. Instead of camping out in the woods, we could have some place we could go meet and have some counseling. Turn us in the right direction so we can go get work."

Billy Ray Swaner knows about life on the streets. He was stabbed in the chest and stomach back on Feb. 13. He believes he and others would be safer staying at a shelter, rather than in the woods.

"They're wanting to tear our camps up," Swaner said. "We get out here and try to make it the best way we can out here."

Long tried to build a cabin in a stand of trees along the Laguna Madre, but he said someone came along and bulldozed it down. Now he lives out of his girlfriend's car.

3News contacted Councilwoman Colleen McIntyre, and she said that the City does not operate shelters and would advise them to contact the agencies that do to see if they would be interested in helping out.


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