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Bell County moving forward with apartments for homeless

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Posted at 9:49 PM, Dec 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-18 23:17:38-05

KILLEEN, TX — Bell County is moving full steam ahead with developing the Moss Rose Apartments into affordable housing.

“It basically creates an opportunity,” said Officer Kyle Moore, Central Texas Homeless Coalition.

The Moss Rose Apartments will offer affordable housing for those who are homeless, on a fixed-income, coping with mental health issues or fleeing domestic violence.

“It’s basically what they can afford. We’re trying to put them in a situation where they can afford a place to live to get them off the street or whatever situation they may be in however to be able to sustain and move forward,” said Moore.

There are qualifications to meet before applying. Applicants must be actively participating in approved local programs and have an income.

The project has growing support in the neighborhood.

“That would be great. There’s a whole bunch of people right now, I see them living in the street with their things you know. And these are new.” said Nirca Lugo.

While some embrace the idea, there is a stigma. But advocates are working to break negative notions.

“People see low-income housing, they automatically associate that with criminality. We’re going to do some creative things to prevent some of the same things that have happened in the past,” said Moore. This includes a security strategy including cameras.

These buildings are not just a place to live, but a jumping off point for the future. Leaders say there are also plans in the works to help future residents make the American dream a reality.

“We want to take some of those individuals and give them the opportunity or a realistic path to transitioning from renter to homeowner,” said Moore.

The Central Texas Homeless Coalition and its partners aim to break down barriers to help people carve a path to self-reliance. The program is funded and made possible through grants and a network of organizations in Bell County.

The apartments still need a little work. Fort Hood Area Habitat for Humanity will be pitching in to make it happen and they still need volunteers. Those interested can contact the Central Texas Homeless Coalition. Work will continue in January.