Services for homeless women and children continue to expand in Copperas Cove with more growth expected in 2014.
The Refuge Corporation is renovating The House of Refuge Women’s Shelter and has purchased a third transitional home in Killeen, which it is renovating as funds become available.
One of the transitional homes in Copperas Cove serves families who need short-term housing until renovations on the emergency shelter are completed.
While the Refuge Corporation offers emergency housing for homeless men, Elder Joseph Solomon said the main focus is families.
“Usually, when (a woman) moves in, she comes with only a suitcase. It got to where our women’s shelter was no longer livable and you don’t like to put a family in a house that is not livable,” Solomon said. “We have completely stripped the home and are putting in a new kitchen including walls, cabinets and insulation. Once we get more funds, we will do the outside.”
Solomon said the renovations will cost about $50,000 per facility, using private donations and grants. “If we had the funds, the project would already be completed,” he said. “I wish I could find funding to purchase a entire apartment complex.”
The Killeen property was purchased in 2010 and renovations are ongoing. A $40,000 community grant helped replace the roof, insulation, siding, flooring, plumbing and electrical wiring.
Solomon said work is being done as funds are received. Once renovations are completed, the home will serve as Killeen’s only facility where homeless people can stay overnight. Currently, Killeen’s homeless are served by the Heritage House, which offers resources and support, but no overnight accommodations.
A family can live in Refuge Corporation’s transitional housing up to 18 months, with most families staying an average of six to eighth months, Solomon said.
The House of Refuge shelter can accommodate four families and each transitional home can hold one or two families depending on their sizes.
“We try to stabilize the families and help them make some plans,” he said. “It takes a good year for a woman and her children to recover from a bad situation like abuse or any situation where they feel like they cannot make it.”