Brenham ISD, homeless shelter teaming up for change

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BRENHAM, Texas Brenham ISD is teaming up with a local mission to tackle the problem of homelessness head on.

Reverend Randy Wells has been with Faith Mission Brenham for several years. He first came to town after Hurricane Katrina.

"We thought we were going to be in Brenham for four days and eat Blue Bell ice cream and look at cows," said Wells. "Four days turned into eight years."

Now, Wells has devoted his life to the mission, helping people like Kimberly Sanches.

Sanches was down on her luck in Houston. She came to Brenham on a bus with no money in her pocket, a young child and another on the way.

"They helped get my ID, They got us clothes and gave us shelter," Sanches said. "They were a really big support system.

Now Sanches has turned her life around. She's headed back to Houston soon to pursue a law degree at the University of Houston.

Wells said they don't stop with the parents. It's the children that they need to reach, and he said the key to fighting poverty is through education.

"It's more than just preaching the gospel, it's living the gospel," Wells said. "Jesus said when I was hungry, you fed me. When I was naked, you clothed me."

The mission has teamed up with Brenham ISD. Their goal is to help train teachers to better understand homeless children and their needs.

"Most teachers, they know how to do a lesson plan," said Wells. "But in their academic training, they weren't taught to work with children in crisis and taught to work with children who are homeless."

Executive director of the mission J.D. Young said he's very excited about the results.

"One of the things we've learned over time is that we can be a whole lot more successful together than separately," said Young. "So we really believe in collaborative efforts, and our community does too. It's something that's really caught on here in Washington County."

The mission offers extdended help to homeless children and thier families with tutoring and summer activities designed to boost their confidence and inspire them to keep reaching for greater things.