TEXAS CHILDREN MOST AT RISK
Texas has become the worst state in the nation when it comes to homeless children. A report released today by the National Center on Family Homelessness shows more than 337,000 children in Texas and 1.5 million throughout the country.
"Not since the Great Depression," says the study, "have so many children stood in the sight lines of homelessness."
An estimated 700 of those are in Abilene ISD schools. Mike Gerber, executive director and chairman of the Texas Interagency Council for the Homeless, says it been designing a blueprint for six months to improve the lives of homeless kids.
In Abilene, the "Our House" shelter is currently in its development and funding stages. Randy Perkins, one of the project leaders, says the over 32 organizations involved in the project have already secured three grants and are moving forward in the development of this shelter.
HOMELESS HEAD COUNT COMES UP SHORT
You may remember at the beginning of the year, an organization called the "West Texas Homeless Network" conducted a homeless count in Abilene. The numbers have just come in, tallying just over 300 people.
Those numbers reflect only homeless people who were in sight during a given period of time. Organizers say it's not a true count; the homeless child statistics would agree.
A survey was also conducted by the WTHN, the results of which will be available in May. Organizers hope the answers will shed a light on to why people are homeless and remain that way for extended periods of time.