After three years of planning and preparing, the Heritage House of Central Texas will officially open its doors to the community Thursday.

Rita Kelley, director of Bell County Indigent Health Services, said Heritage House is not a shelter but a resource focused on preventing homelessness and aiding the indigent in “getting back on their feet.”

The nonprofit will host an open house from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday in the Bell County HELP Center conference room, 718 N. Second St., Killeen.

“We don’t have a shelter,” she said. “Our goal is not to develop a shelter but to provide the supportive services that people who are experiencing homelessness need.”

Kelley said services offered through Heritage House include job skills training, help in applying for housing assistance and aiding the indigent in making decisions about their health. The facility will provide the homeless with a place to get mail.

“If you’re homeless, you don’t have a street address, which means you can’t get any food stamps, disability or indigent health care,” she said. “All those things require having a place to receive mail.”

Kelley said Heritage House began offering services a few weeks ago in a “low-key” manner with agencies referring people, but the open house will kick off its community outreach. “Everyone is excited that we are open, but it’s too soon to tell what the reception will be,” she said

Contact Natalie Stewart at or 254-501-7555

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