Mobile, AL (WKRG) – It’s been two months since the homeless shelter 15 Place closed in downtown Mobile due to lack of funding. Since that time, officials noticed a decrease in the number of homeless people in downtown and that has some activists worried.
When you talk about the homeless around the Waterfront Rescue Mission downtown, it’s what you don’t see. You used to have a long line of people in front of the twin buildings all day before 15 Place closed.
“You go from seeing numerous to none,” said Waterfront Rescue Mission Director Dekendell Young. Clients at the mission have seen the changes too.
“There’s a lot less traffic you know at lunchtime and different stuff,” said Rescue Mission Client Raymond Overstreet. The director here says homeless people’s time is better spent in programs than outside wandering somewhere.
“What are the homeless clients and individuals doing with their time?” said Young. He says he’s concerned some homeless may fall into trouble with crime with fewer services available downtown. While the homeless population has scattered, it’s not clear where they went.
“You can always say you don’t need something when it’s not there but the service will always be needed,” said Young.
15 Place has struggled to find replacement funding since cuts came down from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. News Five reached out to Housing First for more information and are waiting to hear back.