The Woodlands Township approved the creation of a new homelessness task force during the Feb. 22 meeting following the release of local and federal studies showing a rise in homelessness nationwide.

Two-minute impact

The idea of a homelessness task force was originally brought before the board on Jan. 24 by board member Cindy Heiser. The board moved forward on creating a potential charter for a task force to consider possible opportunities to address homelessness locally, according to township Intergovernmental Director Todd Stephens.

A charter was officially approved during the Feb. 22 meeting, which outlined the following goals:
  • Identifying existing community resources and programs
  • Coordinating with public safety agencies
  • Promoting awareness of homelessness
Heiser and fellow board member Linda Nelson were appointed to serve on the task force, which is in effect until the end of the year unless extended by the board.

Quote of note

“This was a vision by director Heiser, so we're very, very thankful, and we've had several people express interest,” board chair Ann Snyder said.

What’s next

According to the comprehensive five-year Montgomery County Community Development and Housing plan released by the county, roughly 2,600 individuals experience homelessness annually, with 600 people experiencing homelessness in Montgomery County on a given night.

While the task force will not enact policy or engage in negotiations with other entities on behalf of the township, Stephens said members will work on meeting with interested parties to discuss potential avenues of assistance for homeless individuals.