Local Shelters See Higher Number of Homeless Kids

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

More than a million children across the country do not have a place to call home. That's according to The National Center for Family Homelessness, that released a report earlier this week ranking Texas the worst state in the country for cases of homeless children.

"This is the second family room, our little kid play room," Aimee Myers with Family Promise said. "We like to make sure they have toys, and things to make them comfortable."

Keeping a routine for kids and families down on their luck, is something Aimee Myers strives to provide.

"We're able to help families that are not necessarily on the street, they might be living in a hotel, they might double, triple, quadruple up with families," Myers said.

Through the non-profit organization Family Promise, Myers is able to provide services for a growing new face of homelessness.

"It's actually for homeless children with families, the idea is to help the children and families get back on their feet," Myers said.

A new study finds that Texas has the highest number of homeless children in the country, a staggering 337,105 kids.

"I guess people always wonder what happened, where did you go wrong," Paula Trevino said.

Last summer the Twin City Mission saw an influx of women and children in their shelter, Paula Trevino and her daughter Elizabeth were among them.

"Everywhere you go it's either we can't help you, or there's implications and that limits the choices I have, so I didn't have many other choices," Trevino said.

"Based on what we were seeing several months ago and where we are today, I think that trend will continue and it's unfortunate," Ron Crozier with Twin City Mission said.

That's where organizations like Family Promise come in.

"They came to Bryan/College Station because they had identified it as an area that had a high number of homeless families and a low number of resources for homeless families," Myers said.

Myers says the non-profit, faith based group, works with local churches to provide shelter and food for homeless families, and help get them back on their feet.

"That's the whole goal--everyone leaves with a job," Myers said. "So far we've been successful, everyone who has moved out has left with a job."

Family Promise requires the families it works with to save at least 50 percent of their earnings while staying with them. That way they're building up a money base that will help them take the next step to living on their own.

The non-profit group also runs strictly off donations, and through volunteer services at local churches that participate in the program.

The Twin City Mission, which is in the process of expanding right now, will have a family and children wing in their new building, making more room for those families in the future.

The facility is expected to open up in June.

Currently, officials with Bryan ISD say they have 300 homeless students enrolled. While officials with College Station ISD say they have 88. Both schools say the definition of "homeless" is broad, and add many of their students are staying with relatives, or temporary shelters, not living on the street as the word may imply.

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