Closure of the Wheeler Encampment
As you know the Wheeler Encampment was closed and fenced Friday, November 2. This closure came after MPNA advocated for more than two years with city officials, the Houston Police Department, the Coalition for the Homeless, and other agencies; work that resulted in a compassionate solution for a complex issue.
Achieving this solution has not just been the work of one organization, one agency, or one city department. Many of you in the neighborhood spoke up, met with officials, sent emails, attended meetings; thank you for your activism, patience, compassion, perseverance, and support of MPNA as together we worked for solutions.
MPNA has sent a letter of thanks to Mayor Turner citing individuals who supported our neighborhood unfailingly: CM Dwight Boykins, Marc Eichenbaum of the Office on Homeless Initiatives, HPD Sergeants Eric Flores and Shannon Farquhar, and Marilyn Brown, President of the Coalition for the Homeless. Thanks also to the Museum Park Super Neighborhood, Houston Southeast Management District, Midtown Management District, and too many more to name.
MPNA extends a special thank-you to the Coalition for the Homeless who worked with the Neighborhood Task Force including MPNA Board members, Barbara McGuffey and Pam Campbell to find solutions. Marilyn Brown acted on the Task Force’s request to identify the Wheeler Encampment as the initial pilot project in the Coalition’s goal to develop a plan to resolve issues of encampments throughout Houston. The Coalition believes that the success of this initiative can now be modified and replicated throughout Houston.How We Can Continue To Help
The Coalition for the Homeless knows that after the re-purposing of the Wheeler encampment for bus parking, former encampment residents may move to other areas of the neighborhood. You can help by noting the location of someone experiencing homelessness, and e-mailing that information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
That information will be forwarded to the Coalition in order that Navigators can assist those individuals in finding bridge or even permanent housing. For additional details, please see the Coalition’s November 8 report.
Update from HPD’s Sergeant Flores (reported by Barbara McGuffey November 7)
- Sgt. Flores is communicating with the Coalition Navigators in efforts to locate and offer assistance to those who chose not to accept bridge housing November 2.
- TXDOT is expected to complete fencing under US59/I69 to Almeda. HPD had anticipated it to be completed by November 2 and is following up to get an update.
- Sgt. Flores met Wed, November 7 with the owner of the vacant lot(s) at the corner of Caroline/Wheeler to address the accumulation of property and individuals on those properties since the Wheeler Encampment closure. The owner has now filed Trespass Affidavits and will be taking other measures within the next two weeks to secure the property.
If you are concerned about trespassers on your property during your absence, please go by the HPD South Central Station, 2202 St. Emmanuel, to discuss your concerns. If you decide to give HPD the authority to remove trespassers in your absence, you must have an affidavit on file and post No Trespassing signage on your property. Attached are forms for residential and business properties. Both pages of the affidavit must be completed. HPD will assist you and notarize the document. Please note: you can call HPD at any time to report trespassers on your property and file a complaint to have them removed.In the News
If you didn’t catch the Chronicle’s report on the closure of the Wheeler encampment, be sure to see what they learned when they reached out to get the neighborhood perspective from MPNA VP Barbara McGuffey. The article also includes input from Marc Eichenbaum and Eva Thibaudeau of the Coalition for the Homeless.