GODTEL helps with growing homeless numbers

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - When it comes to child homelessness, Texas ranks at the bottom of list. A new report shows more children are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless in Texas than in any other state. One east Texas ministry is doing all it can to help.

GODTEL has been giving the homeless a place to rest their tired feet and lay their heads for more than 30 years. They've outgrown their facility, but today they've reached a groundbreaking moment in their ministry. "We go through times where we're at full capacity and this will double our capacity", says Royce Oliver, the Mission Manager at GODTEL.

Construction equipment leave tracks on the newly purchased land that leads to the future of GODTEL...a future that will help the growing number of homeless children in Texas, and their families.

The executive Director of GODTEL, June Gentry, told KTRE, "Some of these women that show up will have five or six children at a time"...Children who don't belong on the cold, wet streets of Texas."It's us adults that make the wrong choices that bring children to a mission like this, it's not the children", says Oliver.

While children are reported to have self-esteem problems and feel ashamed, GODTEL says the kids they see are easily amused."They can be just happy if they can have a toy or something to play with" affirms Oliver.

But now, with a new facility, GODTEL ministries will be able to go a few steps further. Co-executive Director, Nancy Gentry says they have plans to make the new facility a fun environment for the kids. "We will have a play area for the children that come with their mothers and they can work out some of their jitters and really get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors. Downtown we were just all locked in so it's been difficult because they have to be still and quiet".

The still and quiet of a shelter like GODTEL is a relief for many, from the hustle and bustle of the streets. The new GODTEL facilities will include a staff house, women's and men's dorm, a garden to grow food for the shelter, and a chapel.