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Coalition hosts town hall meeting about homeless shelter shutdown

Posted at 8:04 PM, Jun 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-18 21:04:32-04

BELTON, TX — On Tuesday, dozens of people gathered for an update on the temporary closure of the Friends In Crisis.

For just over an hour and a half, William Hall, director of operations for Families in Crisis, answered questions the community had regarding the closure.

In an effort to end homelessness, Hall said that the Central Texas Homeless Coalition brings organizations together.

"We come together. We provide education. We allow the organizations to collaborate,” said Ebony Jackson, chair of the Central Texas Homeless Coalition.

Lately, there has been a new problem to solve. Due to funding shortfalls and the loss of a grant, the Friends in Crisis Homeless Shelter had to temporarily close its doors in May. Since then, coalition members said the homeless population is more visible.

In fact, people are calling it tent city. More than a dozen tents can be seen set up outside the shelter.

"We wanted William Hall, who's over the Friends in Crisis center, we wanted him to have the opportunity to speak to the Coalition and we opened the meeting up to the public so that he could provide any information that he wanted to share," said Jackson.

Questions were raised about what happened to the money and what can be done to open the shelter as soon as possible.

People also asked for clarification on where to send donations.

"There's about 15 of them out there funding for the homeless in Killeen. Families in Crisis has two GoFundMe accounts that were set up. Those are the ones that should be used. Or go to our website at familiesincrisis.net to donate," said Hall.

A few people mentioned they were able to clear up a lot of the misconception that has surrounded the shutdown, however there is still a lot of work to be done.

Families in Crisis continues to fundraise for the Friends in Crisis Homeless Shelter.

So far, they say just over $70,000 has been raised.

"When we shut down originally, that was the board’s recommendation that when we got $180,000 we would possibly reopen the shelter,” said Hall.

He explained that’s still the case.