Love In the Name of Christ volunteers work with Nacogdoches' homeless

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - At the very same moment today, the "point in time homeless survey" was taking place in communities across Texas, East Texas News' Donna McCollum, who has participated in similar surveys in Lufkin and Nacogdoches, knew exactly where to take the Love In the Name of Christ volunteers.

Steve Adams, a Love INC volunteer, talked to a homeless man named Walter.

"Were you continuously homeless for a year or more, would you say?" Adams said.

"I guess for about six months," Walter said.

Steve and Mary Adams probably would have never met Walter if they didn't volunteer for Love INC's homeless count.

Walter is staying with a friend at the Rainbow House, also referred to as "the shack." It's a place for people like Walter to call home.

"At least she put a roof over my head and helped me out," Walter said.

The experience of hunting for the homeless enlightened this couple who has lived in Nacogdoches for years.

"I did not know we had a place called "the shack," and we had ... I'm surprised how many homeless people we have in Nacogdoches," Mary Adams, a Love INC volunteer said.

A 2010 homeless count for the Texas Homeless Network reports 352 homeless in Nacogdoches and Lufkin.

"We can offer services to folks as we know why they're facing homelessness," Patti Goodrum, the director of Love INC, said.

The question was asked to a few kind people found at the homeless shelter Godtel.

When asked why he became homeless, Todd King, a former homeless person, said, "Alcohol and drugs. Going around, messing around with the wrong people."

The same answer was heard more than once. Another homeless person said, "Substance abuse. Alcohol. Relationships."

Krystyn McKnight says her own bad choices led her to homelessness. Her worst night?

"I didn't have anywhere to sleep one night, and I didn't want to do anything to get somewhere to sleep," McKnight said. "I actually chose to sleep in a doghouse."

Now a mother of a 2-year-old, she is more willing to accept help. Hopefully, her 2-year-old will soon be in day care, so her mom can hunt for a job. Love INC is willing to help out.

"When you have someone that is willing to do their part as well you have more to work with," Lakendra Teal, a Love INC homeless case worker, said.

Shelters, under bridges, and private safe havens will be the choice for some homeless, but most welcome a home of their own.

"She told me to come over here," Walter said. So I'm not homeless."

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