Federal cutbacks will limit Love INC's ability to minister to East Texans in need

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A family of seven is homeless tonight following a fire which destroyed their home yesterday. It happened near Garrison in Rusk County.

Thanks to Red Cross, the two adults and five children are safe and warm tonight safe in the fire rescue house operated by Love In The Name of Christ in Nacogdoches.

Love INC's efforts to re-establish normalcy after the loss of a home, for whatever reason, is facing a setback. For the last six years, Love INC has come to the aid of the homeless thanks to a grant from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

"The last two years we had a $150,000 for homelessness prevention," said Patti Goodrum, the director of Love INC.

Federal cutbacks led to Love INC's denial of funding. There's a staff of only four and half positions. Goodrum doesn't want to lose a case manager or part-time outreach coordinator assigned to homeless prevention.

"They haven't been laid off yet," Goodrum said. "We are trying to do fund raisers."

Goodrum proposes combining united way funding with other local donations and grants to start a new homeless program called, fresh start.

"Families don't need band-aids," Goodrum said. They need reconstruction."

Fresh Start would concentrate more on providing the homeless skills to help them reach fulfilling goals.

"Changing of behavior and changing how they spend their money," Goodrum said. "Maybe another look at how to keep their job. Our fresh start program will allow them to come to our office to do face to face a lot more than what we had in the past."

Street Outreach, the January homeless count and rental assistance for valid reasons will continue.

However, help from churches and the community will be needed to maintain a level of service Love INC is accustomed to providing.

Love In the Name of Christ is making pleas to churches for support of the "fresh start" homeless program.

There is also planning underway for a warehouse sale to take place before the first of the year to help raise the needed funds.

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