Mayor's Task Force on Homelessness

In March 2017, Longview Mayor Andy Mack formed the Mayor's Task Force on Homelessness with a goal of decreasing the number of homeless in Longview; not by moving them out, but by giving them hope and a chance for a future. Mayor Mack stated that "we have a moral obligation to help those who are less fortunate." The Mayor presented the findings of the task force to City Council on July 13, 2017.

The members of the task force were selected by Mayor Mack because they represent various nonprofits,  businesses, and government agencies that directly serve or are in some  way impacted by the homeless. Their charge was to make recommendations  on the following topics:

  •  We need to define the role of shelters, non-profits, churches, and Good Samaritans. 
  •  We need to coordinate efforts and not duplicate them.
  •  We need to consider a centralized area for our homeless population; not in the center of town. 
  •  The City of Longview as a governmental body needs help with our city services by utilizing able bodied people. 
  •  We need to protect businesses from losing current and potential businesses/industry because of transients. 
  •  We need to address the mental health crisis that accompanies some of these individuals
  •  We need to communicate better to our residents on how to handle the homeless population as a City.
  •  We need to decrease our homeless population, rather than increase it. 
  •  We need to discuss a possible vagrancy ordinance.
  •  We need to improve our overall appearance and aesthetics as a City.

The above items were just a starting point as many other ideas were  also explored during the task force meetings. Ultimately, the task force  identified several key suggestions including establishing a work  program for individuals willing to work, hosting service fairs, creating  solicitation-free zones, adding a Homeless Outreach Team within the  Longview Police Department, and much more.

Mayor's Task Force on Homelessness Presentation (.pdf)

Share your thoughts and suggestions:
To share your thoughts about how Longview as a community can best  address issues related to homelessness, please share with Mayor Mack using this form.