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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Commissioners Court receives presentation on homelessness in Hays County, proclaims Animal Cruelty Month

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Star file photo

During its April 23 meeting, the Hays County Commissioners Court received a presentation by the Homeless Coalition of Hays County (HCHC) regarding the results of the 2024 Point-In-Time (PIT) count.

Co-Chair of the HCHC and Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of San Marcos Rev. Joshua Sutherlun said the PIT count was the annual survey conducted to estimate the number of people experiencing homelessness on a single night in January.

“The [PIT count] happens all around Hays County,” Sutherlun said. “Throughout the county [HCHC] is looking and finding [unhoused individuals] on that particular day.”

The 2024 PIT count recorded an estimated 276 unhoused individuals within Hays County, an increase from last year’s estimate of 186.

Judge Ruben Becerra thanked the HCHC for their work and said he joined in homeless outreach.

“During one of the freezes I [went] out under the bridges and… helped people not become popsicles,” Becerra said. “I understand firsthand there are spaces [people] shouldn’t walk into… and [the PIT count] is not recommended to be done by just anyone.”

The Hays County Commissioners Court also proclaimed April as Animal Cruelty Month.

According to the proclamation, Animal Cruelty Month is dedicated to “raising awareness about the mistreatment of animals and finding ways to combat animal cruelty.”

Sharri Boyett, an animal advocacy advisor and community liaison for Hays County, explained the current state of animal control within Hays County.

“In the cities of San Marcos, Buda and Kyle there are 176 dogs and 115 cats [in shelters’ custody],” Boyett said.

Colette Resnick, a Hays County resident, wrote a statement to the court saying cruelty to animals is linked with other forms of serious abuse.

“77% of animal cruelty is co-occurring with interpersonal violence: mainly domestic violence, child and elderly abuse,” Resnick wrote. “[This proclamation is] a giant step towards awareness.”

The Hays County Commissioners Court meets at 9 a.m. on select Tuesdays each month. For more information, visit its website.

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