Homeless in Brownsville could be getting help through federal grants

The City of Brownsville could be getting some help for homeless people through a federal grant. To get that money the City needs to count how many homeless people are in the City.

Could you imagine yourself shaking and trembling due to the cold not knowing if you TMre going to wake up the next day," the homeless man said.

Especially when you don TMt have a home or a shelter to stay in to stay warm...

This Brownsville man, who doesn TMt want to be identified, said he has to deal with Mother Nature day by day.

You have to find cardboard or a blanket in the alleys or a jacket at a garage sale to survive and then go outside to find food," the homeless man said.

According to Rigo Oliva, Coordinator with the Community Development Block Grant program, on January 24th, they'll be hitting the streets of Brownsville doing a head count of all the homeless people in the city.

According to Oliva, there TMs $4 million in funding at stake.

A portion of that money could go to help the homeless in getting a job, provide job training, get them shelter and eventually get them into a home.

The money is available through the Housing Urban Development (HUD) emergency solution grant program.

"We can make a report, send it to the federal government and tell them this is the need that we have in our community. We would like to create a program that hopefully helps these people break that cycle and be productive to themselves and to the community," Oliva said

Last year they counted 357 homeless people but they expect those numbers to be higher due to the slow economy.

Oliva said the federal government has a campaign that is trying to end the homeless problem in the United States by 2015.

He said he doesn TMt know why they are in that situation and that all they TMll have to do is fill out a brief survey to get answers as to why they TMre in that position.

This homeless man said he doesn TMt mind answering a couple of questions to get help.

I would like to have a job and have my own things and my own house to start my life," the homeless man said

The plan is to break that cycle, help these people out, and integrate them back in to society.

"In my point of view, if we have 1 homeless person in Brownsville we do have a problem Oliva said

Oliva said they expect to find out if they get the funding by next year.

Officials say the effectiveness of the program depends on the community.

They need volunteers to go out and help in the survey.

If you're interested you can contact Rigo Oliva at 956-548-6136 or 956-746-6829.