South Side residents raise concerns amid fights, drug use, growing homeless population in neighborhood

SAN ANTONIO – Residents in a South Side neighborhood say they no longer feel safe at home. Concerns are growing due to fights and drug use by a growing homeless population in their area.

One woman said she walked out to find a fight between three men feet from her home near Southwest Military and Pleasanton Road.

“What’s going to happen next time? I mean, could one of my kids be assaulted? Could I be assaulted? Could my husband be assaulted at that point?” said one woman who wished to remain anonymous.

The woman recorded the altercation. The video shows two men whipping, kicking, and stomping on one another. They then take a baggie with a white substance, a cell phone, and a wallet from the man on the ground.

The women recording yelled for them to stop and that she was calling the cops, but her attempts to stop the fight didn’t work.

“I feel like it’s not safe when you start seeing someone get beat up in front of you, and then someone shooting up drugs… it’s becoming an issue,” said the woman, her daughter added, “My moms had to call the police multiple times this year, and it’s not something she’s ever had to do in her own home.”

Both said they had seen people start camping in and around their neighborhood about a year ago. They say the problem is only growing.

According to the two, the fight was a breaking point after dealing with people using drugs blatantly in front of their houses. Now, they are arming themselves to get a sense of security back.

“To make sure we can protect ourselves, so we have taken the course, we’ve taken measures. But do we want to be in that situation? No,” said the mom.

The situation also shook her daughter, stating she used to walk freely in her neighborhood without worry.

“People walking in the ditch that you don’t know, you don’t know what’s going to happen… it’s just really hard,” said the daughter

San Antonio Police confirmed they did respond to the call for the fight. They explained when they arrived. The victim had left the scene and did not file a report.

They had this message for residents:

“We encourage our citizens to reach out to their local SAPD SAFFE Unit, and express their concerns that are happening in their neighborhood. Each SAPD Substation has a SAFFE Unit, and each SAFFE Officer has a designated area that they represent. The SAFFE Unit also has resources to help Homeless camps and the homeless community.”

Citizens can find contact information on their SAFFE Unit via the city of San Antonio website: SAFFE

KSAT also reached out to District 3 Councilwoman Phyllis Viagran, her office said they are working on addressing the issue. They sent this statement from the councilwoman:

“The City of San Antonio has seen a 2% homeless increase citywide since 2020 per the 2022 Point-in-Time Count report. To tackle homelessness, we need to recognize the factors that contributed whether it was a loss of a job, substance abuse, domestic violence, and/or mental illness. Understanding the root is imperative in order to provide the right support and resources as there is no one size fits all approach in preventing and reducing homelessness, effective policies are needed to create a path towards ending homelessness. This pass May we passed a $1.2 billion bond, with $150 million going to housing, of which $25 million will go towards permanent supportive housing for our homeless population.

“My office works closely with the DHS Homeless Street Outreach team who are a mobile presence that does outreach efforts which are contingent on being person-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally responsive to the needs of the community. Currently each district has a dedicated outreach coordinator, should my district see an increase I would advocate for an extra coordinator to help address my constituents concerns.”

Original News Source Link