On Thursday (Feb. 18), the Lubbock Police Department announced the creation of the "Homeless Outreach Team."

This squad was assembled to better accommodate businesses downtown as well as the needs of displaced individuals.

"This is a win-win situation for everybody," said Beth Bridges, chairwoman of the Lubbock Chamber. "The new team will help those who need it most and make sure downtown remains a safe place to do business all while saving tax payers’ dollars."

The homeless outreach team will respond to 911 calls pertaining to the homeless with the object of keeping them out of jail by directing them to shelters.

All in all, the HOT is dedicated to helping the homeless find success.

Esteemed members of this new team include Sergeant Eric Quijada, Corporal Steven Bergen and Corporal Korie Archambault.

Team member duties include but are not limited to: Directing individuals to agencies that can help address mental health disorders or substance abuse issues; and assisting the homeless in resume building or serving as a reference.

As of January 29, 2015, the Lubbock area was home to more than 350 homeless citizens.

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