Faith Mission Update

A day after Newschannel 6 told you about bed bugs at Faith Mission in Wichita Falls, homeless people who rely on the shelter are speaking out.

Wednesday night the mission discovered that one of its main dorm areas had bed bugs.

Newschannel 6 received a call this morning from Jeffery Baker, who has depended on the mission for a safe place to sleep for the past year. He told us last night he was out on the street, even though the Red Cross loaned Faith Mission cots that he and many others could have used. 

The Red Cross donated 16 cots to Faith Mission on Thursday, but they told Newschannel 6 only six of the cots were used. This has many, like Shawn Miller confused and once again out on the street.

"They got taken in there for the programmers and volunteers and we got stuck out here sleeping on the concrete," said Shawn Miller, a homeless man. 

Newschannel 6 talked to Steve Sparks, Executive Director at Faith Mission to find out why only a few of the cots were used.

He told us the reason why they only used six cots, because of limited space and it is a safety concern. Sparks said, "We only had room for thirty people and so that's what we just had to make our decision on, who was already staying here."

However, the guys outside are not just concerned about a place to sleep, but the current operations of the shelter. 

"Usually the doors are open, so we can get into the restrooms and access water," said Jeffery Baker, a resident of Faith Mission for one year. "They have locked the doors and are only letting us in at meal times."

The area clients would normally use to shower is filled with the infected mattresses and just this afternoon the mission posted signs about new hours of operation. 

"We have to close the building except when we open up for meals. We got the building under extermination," said Sparks.

Just after 3 p.m. this afternoon, staff at the mission told me they received a phone call from the Salvation Army. The organization told them they would allow clients to stay there until Faith Mission reopens its doors.

The Salvation Army said it has 76 beds available. 

The staff there said they only thing they ask each person that seeks their services is to provide identification and must they be sober upon entry.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6