Killeen City Council approves airport’s new name and gives advice to prevent its single homeless shelter from closing

Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 12:34 AM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Two pressing topics in Tuesday night’s Killeen City Council meeting were a new name for the city’s airport and the potential closure of Friends in Crisis.

Friends in Crisis, the only homeless shelter in Killeen, will face another crisis if it doesn’t get more funding soon.

Residents like Nigel Dunn at the council meeting expressed their concerns.

“We’re trying to find out a transition to make sure none of the citizens are displaced. We want to make sure that they’re not in the cold during the winter months,” said Dunn.

Dunn is close with the board of the homeless shelter.

He said it takes $50,000 a month for Friends in Crisis to operate.

However, Dunn said some of the funding is going toward the foundation of a new transitional facility for homeless people called Harbor of Hope, which hasn’t been built yet.

“We need to know the steps. We need to know where we can get funds from,” said Dunn.

Friends in Crisis employees said they need help from the city.

The city said it’s willing to help and point the homeless shelter in the right direction for success, but as a non-profit it’s up to the board to find outside resources.

“Friends in Crisis is responsible. It’s their mission and their vision. You need to be holding them accountable to that board for their fundraising efforts. Are they doing what they need to be doing for the people that need their services,” said councilwoman Jessica Gonzalez.

Unfortunately, executives of the board weren’t present to ask or answer vital questions.

“It breaks my heart because the individuals who live in the shelter are here, but I don’t see the board,” said Mayor Nash-King.

Another big topic at tonight’s meeting were the changes at the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport.

“The motion carries 7-0. The new name of our airport is Killeen Regional Airport,” said Mayor Nash-King.

The city decided to go with Killeen Regional Airport instead of the Greater Killeen Regional Airport as the new name after a three-month process of planning and conducting surveys in the community.

Executive director of aviation, Mike Wilson said the name change is necessary due to the Army base Fort Hood now changed to Fort Cavazos, and to avoid the public mistakenly thinking the airport is restricted to those in the military.

“A lot of folks do not use our airport because they think it’s a military only airport. Because it had Fort Hood in the name, they thought they couldn’t use it, or if they did, they would have to go through a military check point,” said Wilson.

Wilson said to watch out for surveys coming out regarding the logo for the airport’s new name. Friends in Crisis said it plans on starting fundraisers to avoid the facility closing in February.