City of Amarillo’s ‘Coming Home’ program a ‘blessing’ for the chronically homeless

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AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Roger Singletary and Jodie Shackleford call the city’s Coming Home program a blessing. Before, they were living in their pickup truck for two and a half years.

“Living in my pickup, you know, looking for a place to shower at night, somewhere to eat. It was easy sometimes, hard others. It was really a blessing to get in,” Singletary said.

Living in the pickup truck had its difficulties, including trying to find somewhere to shower and somewhere to eat.

“It was just tough on all of us,” Singletary said. Jodie Shackleford agreed, “I was scared to even go to sleep…And now that I’m in my house, I don’t have to worry about that whatsoever.”

The program provides them with housing, but that’s not all. “They got us our furniture, our dishes…I mean they got us a whole house full of furniture that we wouldn’t have had if it weren’t for the program,” Shackleford said.

The city also has two dedicated social workers in the program, who provide some extra assistance and support.

“They don’t just put you in a house and forget you, they come and check on you they come and do home visits, the whole nine yards,” she said.

The social workers said the key to this program is really getting to understand what these people are going through, and have been through.

Michelle Green, one of the social workers in the program, said, “We take them in and we love them, and support them and encourage them, and we get them going. And a lot of times that’s what it takes for them to say hey, there’s more to my life than this. And you know I think I want to get it turned around and get going in the right direction.”

It’s giving Singletary hope. “Well, it’s made me look forward to a new job, I mean they’ve even enrolled in Amarillo College, so I can get a better job. That’s something I’ve been wanting forever. And that’s happening now, I’m happy about that,” he said.

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