Local advocate urges Huntsville to do more for the homeless

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. —  Grateful Life Community Church pastor Shirley Birney said the city of Huntsville should have a better system in place to help get people off of the streets. "They could start working on grants for affordable housing," Birney said.

She said the solution is easier said than done. "There's no simple answer, it's a very complicated situation and they need to pay attention to those that work with this population," Birney said.

She suggest city leaders speak with the people who work with the homeless like herself or organizations like the North Alabama Coalition for the Homeless.

"The agencies need more case management. When the government cut back funds on nonprofits they lost that," Birney said.

Birney said thankfully there are a couple of shelters people can go to, but that's only a temporary fix. She thinks Huntsville needs to look at the bigger picture.

"They need to open their ears and hear. Open their eyes and see and not try to ignore or displace our community. We are all a part of this together. You just look at what we have here. It's because of the community and their heart. I hope that the city hears it and sees it and says what can we do to help," Birney said.