Annie McGhee has been homeless for a couple of months and is looking for a place to live. She’s now living on the streets of Temple.
On Tuesday, McGhee talked to Jennifer Tintsman with the Central Texas Housing Consortium about moving into one of its properties.
McGhee, along with about 30 other people, were at Feed My Sheep on West Avenue G, participating in a triage that enabled the feeding program’s clients to talk to several agencies and organizations about services to benefit the individuals.
Although the housing consortium has its application available online, it’s better for those seeking housing to come to the office because the consortium can’t move the applicant forward in the process until a signature and a state issued picture ID are on file, Tintsman said.
“When they come in, we can talk about what we need — character references and information from where they had lived in the past,” she said. “We have to make two verifications before they can get approved and be placed on a waiting list.”
Families, friends and coworkers can’t be character references, and there are multiple waiting lists for clients because there are multiple properties.
McGhee had some of her documentation stolen from a grocery cart she uses to haul her belongings around, which added to her predicament.
She lived in Killeen for several years, but most recently resided with her daughter in Florida.
“She (the daughter) got into some trouble and she was the one paying the bills,” McGhee said.
McGhee said she’s not frightened about being out on the streets because she was a solo commercial driver for years and knows how to deal with problems that may crop up.
“It doesn’t scare me, but I know I have to get a place to live,” she said. “I can’t continue to live like this.”
In addition to the housing consortium, there were representatives from Goodwill Industries, Central County Center for MHMR, Veterans Homeless Healthcare, In the Zone for Veterans, Prevent HIV/AIDS Council, Families in Crisis and the Bell County Crisis Intervention Team at Feed My Sheep.
These agencies come to Feed My Sheep on the third Tuesday of every other month.
In July, Feed My Sheep served an average of 190 individuals daily, for a total of 5,702 hot meals and sack lunches.
Antonio Martinez is an occasional visitor to Feed My Sheep since taking up residence last fall at Transformation Station, a home for men. He said he lost his belongings and had been addicted to drugs for 15 years.
Martinez connected with Transformation Station after meeting a couple of men who went to Rudy Ochoa’s church. Ochoa runs Transformation Station.
“I left a few times when I relapsed, but I was able to come back,” Martinez said. “It’s been a great experience for me, especially learning about God.”
When Martinez was living on the street he was a regular at Feed My Sheep.
As with many of those served by Feed My Sheep in the past, Martinez and others from Transformation Station, volunteer to serve the meals a couple of times a month.
“I think this is an awesome program,” he said.
Martinez plans on having a steady career and a family in the not too distant future.
“I know God has it for me, I just have to get out there and be prepared to receive it,” he said.