New organization aims to build Lubbock homeless shelter - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/22/10

New organization aims to build Lubbock homeless shelter

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By Katie Bauer  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – There's a new effort to help the homeless population here in Lubbock as it continues to grow. 

It's noon on Tuesday at First United Methodist Church on Broadway as a couple hundred people gather for a free lunch. "Lost my job, lost the apartment, so I'm back out here again," said Brad Wheelis.

Wheelis knows the streets of Lubbock all too well.  He has been homeless off and on for the last two and a half years. "This is not me, this is no life for no one," he said.

Wheelis sleeps outside at night and struggles to find work during the day. "I'm out looking for a job on days I'm not too hot, because when you are out looking for a job and you are all sweaty, I mean who is even going to bother handing you an application when your shirt is soaked with sweat," he said.

And people like Wheelis are exactly who Pandy Bell wants to help. "The need is there, it's apparent. You can go anywhere in Lubbock especially around Mahon Library and see the evidence of that," said Bell.

Bell is the director of the Lubbock Rescue Mission, a brand new non profit organization that is working towards building the Hub City a new homeless facility. A facility that will have GED classes, work search programs, and case managers on site that can help identify their needs and address them.

"I know there are a lot people out there that want to resolve this situation or at least help the ones that do want to have a better life," said Bell.

Bell knows first hand what being homeless is all about. She lost her job and home while living in Colorado and it was a program like the Lubbock Rescue Mission that got her back on her feet. "That's why I'm here trying to do this because everybody deserves a chance and everybody has value and a purpose for living and that's the message that I'm going to bring," said Bell.

Not just a hand out, but a hand up, which may be all that people like Wheelis really need.

The Lubbock Rescue Mission does need the support of the community to get the facility up and running. This Saturday the organization will offer their very first event to benefit the homeless. It will be at Overton Park from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. There will be barbeque, music, and ministry, and a silent auction will be held.

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