Homeless in Amarillo claim to be turned away by help agencies

Homeless in Amarillo claim to be turned away by help agencies

Homelessness has long been a problem in Amarillo, but the community also has a laundry list of agencies designed to help those less fortunate. But despite those group's efforts to provide food, clothing and shelter to those in need, many homeless still feel there's no help coming their way, even when they ask.

"I would have never ever suspected that I would end up this way," said Jimmy Brumley, who's been living homeless for nearly four months.

It's not exactly the "tent city" many of us picture when we think of a homeless community coming together but the parking lot of the Walmart on Grand Street actually houses more than you might think.

"There's people that live in their cars, they live in their camper homes, they live in trailers," said Brumley. "There's a campsite that's less than 1200 feet from where we're standing right now."

Homeless families still fighting to receive the help so many groups in Amarillo say they provide.

"I've gone to Salvation Army, Faith City Mission, Tyler Resource Center, all of that," added Brandon Smith, who's been homeless for the past seven years.

"There's not help for me," continued Brumley. "Most places shut the door because I don't do drugs, most places shut the door because I don't beat my wife and kids."

Faith City Ministries does have a program to help recovering drug and alcohol addicts, but they also provide shelter and a bed to almost anyone who might be in a tight spot and say they do their best to make sure no one is turned away.

"Really, the only thing that can disqualify you we've already talked about and that's if you've got child endangerment issues or a warrant or if we don't have room" explained Michael Meil, Operations Director for Faith City Ministries.

Yet, there are still families like the Brumley's and Smith's, homeless for different reasons but all feeling hopeless for the same ones.

"I've done that like maybe four times at each place and there's nothing they can do for me," said Smith.

"When you go home at night, you want a warm place to sleep and to take care of your family," said Brumley. "That's the same thing I want."

Another reason Brumley believed it's hard for the homeless to get help is because they get the run-around from agency to agency. He said all claim the other agencies would be better suited to aid their needs.