NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - According to the U.S. Department of housing and Urban Development, there are nearly 20,000 people homeless in Texas.
A Christian based organization in Nacogdoches plans on lowering that number by moving into a bigger facility.
"It'll expand our abilities and more efficiently be able to help a greater number of people and that's exciting," Godtel owner, Nancy Gentry, said.
330 East Main Street is where many homeless East Texans said they got a fresh start.
"They gave me housing, clothing, and just about everything I needed in order to be able to make it," Godtel resident, Shirley Billingsley, said.
"The first thing we do is tell people about Christ," said Mission manager Richard Silva. "The second thing we do is feed and house the homeless and clothe them."
It's been ten years in the making, but Godtel is moving up the road to Douglas Street, and residents are thrilled about this expansion.
"It'll be great," Silva said. "The residents won't have to go up and down the stairs so often because there are two flights of stairs. The women have to walk all the way to the third floor."
"There are a lot of things I'm happy about with the new building," Billingsley said. "You don't have to hit the stairs, and I think we'll have a bigger kitchen, pantry, and hopefully a lot more donations."
As the homeless population numbers fluctuate, the doors to Godtel continue to turn. So with 29 acres, owners said they'll be able to do more than ever before.
"We have some tractors and we're planning on having a garden out here and put our people to work in the soil," Gentry said. "That'll give them some good experience."
With great accomplishments, comes great responsibility.
"They'll have choirs like feeding goats, chickens, and do things in the garden," Gentry said. "The children will have room to run and play."
Godtel will be doubling in size, and said they'll now provide 52 beds to residents.
This expansion is expected to be completed in August.