Mayor Wheeler's Office Asks Developer Homer Williams to Put Together New Homeless Shelter Plan

There's no location yet, but this time it will involve a smaller scale shelter

The backer of the failed mass shelter proposal for Terminal 1, Developer Homer Williams, is on to his next shelter idea — a smaller scale version of what he proposed last year and one that could be replicated throughout the city.

"The mayor has asked us to take the next step, which involves opening a prototype shelter, and we're hard at work selecting the site and getting the plans together," Williams tells WW.

The Terminal 1 shelter proposal, modeled on San Antonio's Haven for Hope,  faced significant hurtles including the location, on industrial land that was owned by the Bureau of Environmental Services, and resistance to the concept of mass shelter.

Williams does not yet have a location identified for the new shelter. But the mayor's office has ruled out a large-scale shelter.

"That's not what's under consideration," says Wheeler spokesman Michael Cox. "I don't want to give too much detail on a plan that's still in development, but I will say that there are aspects of the Haven model that the Mayor likes that are under consideration,"— including the "courtyard concept, consolidated service provision, low barriers" for entry.

The San Antonio shelter has a large outdoor courtyard where people sleep outdoors and allows people to work toward transitional housing with help form on-site service providers.

"We like that the private sector is stepping up to address a challenge we share as a community," says Cox.