Cove House marked two big ticket items off its wish list by turning long-term goals into realities.
Director Benjamin Tindall announced at the annual fundraising banquet Monday that the nonprofit entity has opened a transitional housing unit at 616 Sunset Lane and a free health clinic in the Lovett Ledger Medical Plaza on U.S. Highway 190.
“I am so grateful to serve in a ministry that can draw a crowd like this,” Tindall said.
Quoting statistics from the American Community Survey, he stressed the need for additional services, stating that 50,000 people in Bell and Coryell counties do not have health insurance.
Thirteen percent of families live under the poverty level with the percentage more than doubling for single mothers at 30 percent.
Cove House expects to exceed last year’s numbers in housing and serving the homeless. In 2012, 361 homeless people benefited from Cove House services. As of the end of October, more than 300 people have been served, with the holiday months still ahead.
“We conduct follow-ups with our residents to help them get back on their feet,” said Belinda Parilla, resident manager of the emergency shelter. “(The work) is emotionally draining but rewarding.”
In addition to the new free health clinic and the transitional housing unit, Cove House already operates an emergency shelter and a food pantry.
“Eight percent of families in Coryell and Bell Counties live on less than $15,000 a year with 65.5 percent being on food stamps,” Tindall said.
“Many churches provide backpacks of food for children every Friday in the schools. Without that support, many of these children would not eat again until Monday.”