Homeless Getting Bus Tickets Home

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Some homeless people in Colorado Springs are getting free bus tickets home thanks to the Salvation Army and Colorado Springs police.

The idea is not to kick the homeless out of town but to help them better themselves.

Many homeless people live in camps along Fountain Creek. They're clearly visible from the interstate.

"They moved into the downtown area where they were comfortable living and being seen," said Officer Brett Iverson with the Homeless Outreach Team.

Colorado Springs City Council is looking at passing an ordinance that would make camping illegal on public land.

In the meantime, Colorado Springs police and the Salvation Army are trying to help those who want to get a fresh start on life.

"Many times they want to relocate because they have family or friends or they've verified a job. They know somewhere where they can work," said Major Don Gilger with the Salvation Army.

The homeless campers can get their one-way bus tickets paid for if they want to move closer to family and friends.

"We verify they have a parent, a friend or family members or a job lined up. Once we can verify that, then we'll get them out," said Officer Iverson.

So far, three people have taken advantage of the new program. Police and the Salvation Army hope to help 30 homeless people.

The Salvation Army recently got a $20,000 emergency grant from El Pomar. They're using some of that money to pay for the bus tickets, which cost about $150 each.

"It's not the total answer to the problem. There are people who can't leave Colorado," said Major Gilger.

But, Major Gilger says it is the answer for those who have a support system in place in another city or state.

If you would like to donate money to help the Salvation Army pay for bus tickets, click on the link below.

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