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Grant to help Corpus Christi homeless coincides with annual point-in-time count

City of Corpus Christi Assistant Director of Grant Monitoring Jennifer Buxton said the grant money will be used as a way to create an outreach team.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — An annual grant awarded to the City of Corpus Christi seeks to help the homeless population around town.

City of Corpus Christi Asst. Director of Grant Monitoring Jennifer Buxton said the money, which comes from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, will be used as a way to improve outreach to the homeless community.

"This will be a dedicated team that is on the street reaching people who don't ask for assistance, or have a hard time getting assistance," she said. "People that you see actually sleeping on the street." 

Buxton said creating an outreach team can help residents with no fixed address access basic documents.

"What's the first thing we need to do to help you get into services? Is it an ID? Okay. We'll get you an ID," she said.

Local homeless programs can apply to administer the $260,000 grant by next week's deadline. The grant comes as the Homeless Issues Partnership gets ready for it's annual Point-in-Time (PIT) survey.

Homeless Issues Partnership President Kyle Knutson said the survey is mainly used to get a rough estimate, and that the city receives additional financial assistance based on how many homeless people are counted. 

"It's really mainly for a snapshot, but bad weather is the main contributing factor for a low count," he said.

Knutson said the count has identified about 500 people in the last few years, but he believes Corpus Christi's homeless population is comparable to other cities this size.

"I think the more accurate number is between 600 and 800, I think would be a good, accurate number depending on the season and just the amount of individuals out there that day," he said.

3NEWS did attempt to interview homeless individuals about the surveyors, but they declined to go on camera.

The survey takes place next Thursday, and Knutson said the group could use more volunteers. For more information on how to volunteer, click here.

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