• September 16, 2014

City seeks to help homeless

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Posted: Saturday, April 17, 2010 12:00 pm | Updated: 9:10 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

By Hailey Persinger

Killeen Daily Herald

Killeen's homeless could soon have some help finding a place of their own.

City council and community members will discuss Tuesday the issue of homelessness and how to help the city's less fortunate find homes, jobs and stability.

"We don't have any place to put them," said Councilman Larry Cole, who said he's worked alongside Alvin Dillard, Killeen Police Department chaplain, to brainstorm ways to help the homeless. "He's been working with some organizations trying to find a way to solve the problem, get a place for them to start an overnight house. What he wants to do is he wants a work program, a rehab program. It's not a free place to sleep for a night."

Though the project is still in its infancy, Cole said discussions about its possibilities have been ongoing for two years. His suggestions range from using the former fire department on Avenue D as a shelter to getting churches involved in a coalition that would purchase what he called "1956 or 1957-model duplexes" and convert them into temporary residences.

"It's just a project for us to have a place to put homeless people, treat people and get them off the street," he said. "We're not going to do a whole lot downtown until we solve that problem. We just can't have homeless sleeping on the street down there."

According to a letter sent from the Christian Assistance Network to area churches, Dillard is a member of a steering committee aimed at combating homelessness in Killeen. Other members include representatives from Killeen Independent School District, Bell County Human Services, Bell County Indigent Health Care, Bell County Homeless Alliance and the Central Texas Council of Governments.

"We can all step up and make a significant contribution to our community," states the letter by Dillard, "and begin a process that will enable us to help change the lives of the homeless forever."

Contact Hailey Persinger at haileyp@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow her on Twitter at KDHcity.

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