Odessa Homeless Live in Unused Storage - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Odessa Homeless Live in Unused Storage

by Brian Wise
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - You see shops and stores driving down Andrews Highway in Odessa but what would you see if you pulled it all away?

There are invisible people just trying to survive behind the local Family Dollar. We found poor and homeless people who have made storage lockers their home. How do they get out of this situation? They ask themselves that everyday.  

NewsWest 9 went out early Thursday morning to see people sleeping outside on couches with garbage littering the ground. Some people here can't get jobs no matter how hard they look. 

Jaime Ramirez makes one of these storage lockers his own.

"I can do whatever (to work) but I don't have a license. Please help me. What's my goals? To get out of this dump. I don't want to be here. I've been barely going for a week here. I used to be somebody. I used to have money," Ramirez said.   

NewsWest 9 found out that Family Dollar owns the unsafe storage lockers. Employees working there thought the property was abandoned but want to protect the store from looting.

Tracie Horrell is an Assistant Manager at the Family Dollar.

"I would like for them to be gone, I would like for it to be cleaned up. I would like for it to not be like that anymore," Horrell said.

Ramirez is a legal citizen but doesn't have his ID to register to work. NewsWest 9 spoke with services like Salvation Army but they don't provide to people who don't have identification.

Lt.. Joe Contreras doesn't know where people could go when NewsWest 9 asked him Thursday afternoon. 

"That's a tough issue right now. We really don't have whole outlets or any at all to send somebody. I can't name a single place that I can send somebody to get an ID," Contreras said.

Basic identification costs $25, but if you can't get a job, how do you get money to register for work? For these residents, it's a cycle of hopelessness.

Odessa has said they have had problems with this property before but were not able to speak on Thursday. NewsWest 9 got in touch with the Family Dollar Corporation but they have not commented yet. 
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