KILLEEN, TX — The New York City Special One-Time Assistance Program provides one year's rent upfront for eligible Department of Homeless Services clients to move anywhere within the United States. That includes at least one family who came right here to the Lone Star State in Killeen.
Matthew Mitchell works alongside fellow church members to help those without a place to live in Killeen.
"So we track them down and we feed them every week,” said Mitchell.
Some controversy has come along with the program. Some mayors including, Killeen Mayor Jose L. Segarra, say they were not made aware before people moved to their city through the program.
"First I was shocked,” said Mayor Segarra. “It's like what we don't want somebody else's problem, but then when we looked a little bit more, I asked them and they said, "Well they actually live in an apartment here." I said, "Well that's a good thing. You know they're not out in the street.""
The Killeen Police Department Homeless Out Reach Team uses numerous measures to help people get back on their feet.
"We're not in the business of just sending homeless people to other cities, and like pawning off or pushing off the issue to another city,” said Officer Kyle Moore. “What we do is we try to reach out to families here, whether it be loved ones, relatives, close relatives, sometimes distance relatives, and try to reconnect them with family.”
Mitchell said if the New York City Special One-Time Assistance Program helps the homeless, it's a program he can get behind.
"It's cold. It's raining. Some people don't have like we do. So if anybody can help - New York, New Mexico, China, wherever," said Mitchell.
From housing assistance to food banks to the homeless shelter, the City of Killeen various programs available to help people get out of homelessness.
If you would like to get involved with helping the homeless, you can contact the Killeen Police Department Homeless Out Reach Team at 254-501-8874.