There are on average nearly 170 homeless people in Wichita Falls alone. That is just counting those who find sheltered housing every night. The Homeward Bound Homeless Coalition is making efforts to beat homelessness one person at a time.
Newschannel 6 attended their annual event Hope For The Holidays. Right now HBHC says more homeless or at risk people are asking for help.
Donna Piper, Director with The Homeless Coalition and Housing Authority tells us in the past year she has seen an increase in families applying for low income housing. Piper says in a rough economy she deals with homeless families or at-risk individuals living from pay check to pay check.
The winter months are fast approaching and The Homeward Bound Homeless Coalition is stepping up their efforts to help the homeless. This years annual Hope For The Holidays event assisted nearly 250 homeless individuals and families.
Brett Moyer, Community Relations Manager says, "That's an opportunity that a lot of folks might not otherwise be able to take advantage of if they weren't here today." Brett Moyer a volunteer with HBHC says its non-profit organization helped support and guide the area homeless and families to get back on their feet. The HBHC works with each person to gain access to finding employment, housing, healthcare, or applying for personal documents such as ID's or social security cards.
Moyer comments, "It's really a community wide effort between business, churches, and Sheppard Air Force Base. It's a lot of folks working together to make an event like this come together." Moyer says this is the HBHC's 6th year and every year Hope For The Holidays proves to help more and more homeless people.
Moyer says it is really a community effort. "Wichita Falls, the spirit of this community, and with so many other different agencies and people, we all come together. We all provide this service for some of our area's needy residents."
Resident Marie Rhodes says most of her important personal documents were recently stolen. She does not have an ID or social security card. Rhodes says it has been difficult to apply for those documents without an identification card. But by attending Hope For The Holidays Rhode can now get help. "I'm just thankful for having an organization like this. There are so many people who are in need now and it benefits a lot of people."
The Homeless Coalition tells us they want community members to be aware that just because someone is considered homeless does not mean they are on the streets. They say a family could still be considered homeless, even though they have a roof over their heads.
The Homeward Bound Homeless Coalition is comprised of local businesses, non-profits, and Government Agencies.