Local News

Apr 24, 2014 12:58 PM by Rachel Cole - rcole@kristv.com

The 'Welcome Home' Project: From Homeless to Home

CORPUS CHRISTI - Homelessness is a very prominent issue in the coastal bend. The bigger problem for some organizations though, is transitioning nearly 35-hundred people who live on the streets or in shelters, to a real place to call home.

Now, one local church is teaming up with a non-profit agency to push forward with a project that prepares homes and a surprise of a lifetime for family's in need.

Fresh paint, new light fixtures and dozens of donations are all part of the "Welcome Home" project. A way of getting family's out of poverty and into a place of hope.

"This is a really important opportunity that we can engage in the community and do some meaningful work in people's lives, transforming their physical space," Catherine Albert said.

Albert is the Outreach Director with Grace Presbyterian Church. She says the idea for the project came to her while she was watching television.

"The one night I was watching a commercial and I heard this song "I'm Coming Home" I knew right then that, that is something we needed to do," Albert said.

She also serves on the board for the Salvation Army. She says that's where those in need can complete "Operation Bridge" to help them go from homeless to home. It's an 18-month program through the Salvation Army, that people can complete in order to start the process of moving out of a shelter.

"They prepare them learning budgets, getting jobs and doing various kinds of training, and those kinds of things and once they complete that program they're able to move out," she added.

The "Welcome Home" project takes it a step further. Albert wants the family to feel "Embraced by Grace." The first home was picked out by a single mother of two, trying to get back on her feet.

"She thinks that it's just going to be, she finds the space to live in and we go pick up furniture at the Salvation Army Thrift store," Albert said.

However, come Sunday, April 27th, dozens of people will be standing on the sidewalk ready to welcome them to a fully furnished home. Complete with everything they need including bedding, dishes and a home cooked meal.

Organizers say, they plan to continue doing the "Welcome Home" project for many years to come. Their hope is to change the lives of those, who are in need of a second chance.

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