AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — A person described as having “a heart for the homeless in Amarillo” with decades of experience helping the homeless is serving as interim director of community development for the City of Amarillo.
Jason Riddlespurger, a veteran of more than 20 years with the Amarillo Police Department (APD) who has worked closely with the homeless population in Amarillo for decades, succeeds former City of Amarillo (COA) Director of Community Development Juliana Kitten. The COA Community Development Department provides an array of services for the homeless population in Amarillo.
“Working as director of community development for the City of Amarillo was the greatest job I have ever had. I absolutely loved it,” Kitten said. “My husband was offered and accepted a job out-of-state, so we will be moving. I will treasure my time in Amarillo.
“I have worked with Jason extensively with a myriad of programs to help the Amarillo homeless population. He truly has a heart for the homeless in Amarillo – and he has proved this over and over again. Jason understands the challenges and needs of the homeless population in Amarillo, and how to address these challenges and needs.”
Riddlespurger’s service to the homeless population in Amarillo includes:
●Serving as co-chair of the Amarillo Continuum of Care; establishing Amarillo’s first Intercept Program in which APD officers are paired with a mental health professional to aid the homeless; led the formation of APD’s first Homeless Outreach Team; aided in the establishment of the Amarillo Area Suicide Review Team; National Association of Social Workers Public Citizen of the Year (2019);Texas Mental Health Peace Officer of the Year (2017); Family Support Services Award (2010); Guyon Saunders Resource Center board member; Sharing Hope Ministries board member; Texas Panhandle Suicide Prevention Coalition member and Texas Crisis Intervention Team Association member.