The first tenant in Cove House’s new transitional housing facility has moved into the eight-unit apartment building at 616 Sunset Lane.
Shane White, who overseas Mission Casa for Hillside Ministries, also occupies one of the 761-square-foot units along with his wife, Dionna. The Whites serve as the residential managers of the 6,090-square-foot building. Each apartment has two bedrooms and one bathroom and is suitable for families and individuals.
“The apartments are completely furnished so (tenants) have everything they need,” White said. “We will work right alongside Cove House to ensure the tenants are looking for work.”
Tenants must be formally referred to the housing unit by either Cove House or another agency that works with Cove House. Tenants are required to have some type of income and be actively working.
“We will base the rent on a sliding scale. It will be lower and then adjusted over time as the individual progresses,” said Benjamin Tindall, Cove House executive director. “We are investing in the residents with expectations that will prepare them to re-enter society.”
At the transitional housing facility, people can stay 12-18 months. Tenants are responsible for paying utility costs in addition to rent and their own food and transportation.
“We have advocates and social workers making sure they are hitting benchmarks like preparing a budget and managing their finances, having a medical plan, attending support groups and preparing for future housing needs,” Tindall said. “Tenants will be regularly evaluated on a variety of spectrums.”
Cove House purchased the apartment complex for approximately $96,000 when the organization, with help from the city of Copperas Cove, received a grant through the Central Texas Housing Finance Corporation for $50,000. Cove House owes approximately $46,000 on the property.
The apartment building is located in an area that has been a target of drug use, prostitution, illegal dumping, and other criminal activities discussed at a public meeting last month. Tindall said he was questioned when Cove House decided to locate the transitional housing unit on Sunset Drive.
“People asked me, ‘Why would you put people who are trying to come out of homelessness in that neighborhood?’ We’ve got to get it cleaned up, and property managers need to keep properties in good condition,” Tindall said. “Perhaps, this could be a requirement by the city.”