The Ellis County Homeless Coalition is preparing for its inaugural Pie Palooza event to increase awareness of homelessness during Homelessness Awareness Month in November.

Organizers say Pie Palooza is an afternoon of family fun with pie-eating contests, pie-throwing, pie sales, a silent auction, face painting, bounce houses, live music and games.

Pie contestants throughout Ellis County are invited to submit their favorite pies for judging. Their recipes will be included in the inaugural Pie Palooza recipe book. Bite-sized samples will be given to the public to judge and select the best pies. A second competition for area high school culinary contestants will select the best high school pie bakers.

Local organizations and churches that help the homeless and indigent will be on hand with information about their work.

Among the guest speakers is Southwestern Assemblies of God University Professor and Daniel’s Den Board Member Sandi Harp who will talk about her doctoral research on homeless adults with animals.

Daniel’s Den is Ellis County’s only emergency shelter. The organization will raise funds at the event to fund the construction of a new building.

Jen Beardsley and Kyra Henderson of the Texas Homeless Network will give a presentation on eradicating homelessness and provide volunteer training for the Point-in-Time (PIT) count, respectively.

The PIT count, required by HUD, is a count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night in January. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that Continuums of Care conduct an annual count of homeless persons who are sheltered in emergency shelters and transitional housing on a single night. The count takes place on January 23, 2020.

“The homeless population is growing rapidly in our county and you can join us in making homelessness rare and a one-time experience," said the Ellis County Homeless Coalition in a press release. “The homeless are our neighbors and you can love them by visiting elliscountyhomeless.com and help us to help them.”

Pie Palooza will be held on November 10 at First United Methodist Church at 505 W Marvin Ave in Waxahachie from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

To apply to be a pie contestant, sponsor, advertise in the Pie Palooza recipe book or register an organization that assists the homeless population, visit elliscountyhomeless.com.