COPPERAS COVE — With approximately 30 percent of single mothers in Coryell County living below the poverty line, the need to provide support is greater than ever.
The Refuge Corporation, an entity under the Christian House of Prayer, offers support thanks to funding received from the United Way.
The organization offers two transitional homes in Copperas Cove and has purchased a third home in Killeen, which it is renovating as funds become available. The emergency homeless shelter for women and children also is being remodeled and one of the transitional homes is serving families who need short-term housing until the renovations on the emergency shelter are completed.
Elder Joseph Solomon said the remodel will take about $50,000 per facility and money is raised through private donations.
United Way contributes about $15,000 annually to the Refuge Corporation which is about 20 percent of the organization’s annual budget. That money is specifically earmarked to provide services to homeless women and their children, Solomon said.
If the families need shelter longer than a few weeks and a transitional home is available, they are moved and are allowed to stay in the home if stipulations are met, he said.
“The women do pay rent although it is not as much as paying rent on the outside. But, they pay based on what they can afford. So, they must be working,” Solomon said. “We try to stabilize the families so they can make some plans, which often takes a good year especially if they have come from an abusive situation.”
For the emergency shelter, mothers are required to do 12 job searches per week and they are verified by Refuge Corporation staff.
If the women don’t meet the requirements, Solomon said they are required to move out of the shelter.
“We don’t have time to babysit anybody. This is a bridge for them to get from Point A to Point B,” Solomon said. “If they don’t have transportation, we purchase them bus passes.”
Women and their children are allowed to stay in the emergency shelter for a few weeks and as long as 18 months in one of the transitional homes.