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Houston Mayor's News Conference
by Garrett Bryce w/Photos courtesy HTV
Thursday, October 20, 2016

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, in a news conference today, accepted a $1 million grant from JP Morgan Chase for the city's The Way Home program to combat homelessness in the city.

The grant will support The Way Home's homeless housing initiative, and JPMorgan Chase is the first corporate donor for the event.

The Way Home program has now raised $7 million toward its $15 million goal to finish creating 2,500 units of housing for chronically homeless individuals. News Release

Turner stated that more than 100 organizations were collaborating through The Way Home program.

“Everything The Way Home does is geared towards one purpose, transitioning the homeless off our streets and into supportive housing,” Turner said. Listen (24:41)

Turner noted that by putting homeless in homes can actually save $28,000 for each chronically homeless individual, for a potential total of more than $70 million per year.

“In fact, it is actually less expensive to house the chronically homeless with supportive services than it is merely to walk by them on the streets of the city of Houston,” he said.

Turner introduced JPMorgan Chase Vice President of Philanthropy Carolyn Watson, who announced the grant, and discussed the JPMorgan Chase's award of more than $200 million to nonprofits around the globe.

“These nonprofits are revitalizing neighborhoods, equipping people to secure better jobs, and helping them build financial assets for the future,” Watson said.

Watson noted Houston's efforts to decrease homelessness, which has resulted in a 57 percent decrease in overall homelessness over the past five years.

“The Way Home is an example of Houston at its best,” Watson said.

Central Houston, Inc. President Bob Eury spoke on the plan to build housing units, stating that 2,237 operating or in development, 56 pending financial approval, and 207 remain to be created out of the total 2,500 units.

Katrina Van ValkenburghThe Corporation for Supportive Housing, which manages the fund for the program, also spoke during the news conference. Van Valkenburgh thanked Turner, JPMorgan Chase, partners in the program, and the residents of Houston.

“Because of each and every one of you, ending homelessness in this community is more than a slogan, it's a reality,” she said.

Turner stressed the importance of ending homelessness.

“We can go to the moon, we can even travel to Mars, but if we can't take care of those who are traveling right here in this city, we still have missed the mark,” Turner said.

Remembering Jim Guidry Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership

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