Most of the homeless in our East Texas area are women, left with small to school age children, no transportation and no money. We also have homeless who are disabled and some are elderly. Each night, in America, 800,000 men, women and children sleep in our streets, abandoned cars and buildings or in shelters. The greatest increase in the homeless population is in the rural areas of our country.
Most people become homeless due to one of four reasons:,
1) loss of spouse or mate due to abandonment, death or divorce;
2) loss of employment over an extended peroiod of time;
3) serious injury or health condition not covered by an employer or insurance which causes financial hardship;
4) burn out.
1) a shelter where any homeless person or family willing to participate in the shelter programs, may stay up to 90 days;
2) three nourishing meals a day, plus clothing;
3) mandatory work program for all adults who are able to work;
4) transportation to and from the work place, to school and given supplies supplies to complete their studies;
5) all school age children will be enrolled in public school and given supplies to complete their studies;
6) working parents of younger children will be given assistance with childcare through local, licensed agencies;
7) mandatory adult education classes, job skills training and financial counseling;
8) additional voluntary counseling services will be made available, such as: mental, spiritual, legal and financial counseling.
We invite you to help us help the homeless by becoming a volunteer, helping to organize a fundraiser or picking up donated items, such as: clothing, food, hygiene products, house wares, and furniture. Can you teach someone to read or help a child with their homework? There are many ways to help the homeless. We are espicially seeking donations of $10.00 or more for the Homeless Shelter Project. Please contact Ms. Emma Boykin at 903-723-2930.
Sanctuary House (903) 723-2930
Caring People Of Palestine (903) 729-7994
Salvation Army (Palestine Police phone #) (903) 729-2254
Palestine Resource Center (903) 729-7505
In January 2001, Pam Alford, a fellow church member, and I were discussing the need in our community for a homeless shelter. We attend the First Presbyterian Church. (Other Board Members and volunteers attend various denominational churches within our community - our organization is inter-demoninational.) Pam and I both expressed to each other that we felt the Lord wanting us to look into developing a place that would welcome and provide food, clothing, shelter, job training and spiritual guidance.
It seemed that we both agreed on the point that our efforts should provide "a hand up. . .not just a hand out" approach. We talked about giving families preference by developing a way for:
1) kids to be tutored;
2) transportation for the children to attend school;
3) job training for parents through other organizations within our community such as the Palestine Resource Center;
4) as well as other family oriented programs.
Pam and I also talked about the fact that our homeless shelter would be restricted in some ways in order to protect families utilizing our facilities.
Such restrictions would include:
1) not accepting alcoholics or drug addicts who are still using;
2) background checks would be ran to exclude convicted
child molesters, etc.; and,
3) unfortunately, we would not be able to shelter
run-away teenagers either.
All three of these categories or individuals, of course, would be given referrals to other agencies and organizations that could respond to their specific needs.
Other projects for the future that we see as probable would be the acquisition of two vans; helping the City of Palestine update its codes for permits and zoning of entities that provide shelter to the homeless; all kinds of fundraisers; and applying for grants.
In our vision of a homeless shelter we see the need for employing six individuals. Four would be permanent and two would be part time employees. And naturally, we would utilize a volunteer force as well. When the shelter project actually reaches the point of hiring employees, we will ask for donors to give specifically to salaries and other projects such as construction, etc.
There is much more that can be said of our dreams and visions for developing a homeless shelter, however, I have expressed the basic thoughts that are in my heart personally in this short summary.
The Sanctuary House is requesting your prayers, money donations, in-kind donations such as building materials and volunteers to make the construction of a new 10,000 ft. facility a reality.
Business men and women who are interested in helping the needy in the East Texas area, please contact our office. Anyone who has expertise in any area of construction, please give us a call. WE NEED YOU!!!
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