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Heritage House showcases new way to fight homelessness

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TWC News: Heritage House showcases new way to fight homelessness
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The Heritage House of Central Texas is fighting homelessness in Bell County with what it calls a new approach.

The people behind the Heritage House of Central Texas say the best weapon against homelessness is a close personal relationship. The old methods were just a temporary fix.

“All you're doing is putting a band-aid on the problem,” Michael Christ, executive director of Heritage House, said. “The only way you can alleviate homelessness is to have shelter with support services and it has to be constant."

Case managers will walk each person every step of the way to getting back on their feet. Other social workers agree that one-on one-relationship make all the difference.

"We make that assumption that once we do give them that information they know how to take that information and roll with it, so having case management every step of the way helps them from running back into that homelessness,” Rose Marie Amiam, director of the Killeen Youth Shelter, said.

Homeless clients will use the shelter's address as their own, along with the phones and Internet. Managers say that is the key to getting in touch with the services they desperately need.

"You can't access social services if you don't have an address,” Christ said. "It takes a combination of all of the resources within the community to actually make dent."

Heritage House officials plan to open a new shelter in Killeen by January 2015 and they're looking for volunteers. For more information on how you can help, visit HeritageHouseofCentralTexas.org.

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