Letter: Local homeless coalition needs your help

Waxahachie Daily Light

Ellis County Homeless Coalition (ECHC) is being overwhelmed with the spike in homelessness caused by evictions and the lack of affordable rental units. ECHC is now being contacted by local food pantries for help with their clients living in area motels and their cars. The hardest thing ECHC is dealing with at this moment is a family whose mother attempted suicide because there is no affordable place  to rent in Ellis County for her family and new grandbaby due any day.

COVID-19 infected the whole family, mom, 24 year old daughter, 21 year old son and his fiancé in January. They all lost their jobs and were unable to make rent in February, then mom lost her car. They had been living on the mom’s disability and the kids unemployment when the mother contacted ECHC for help.

All hope seemed to be lost by the mother when the only house she found that seemed affordable was being used by a scammer in Glenn Heights. Nothing in Ellis County could be found under $1,600 because rent has gone up to $1.60/sqft. It is now a landlord’s market so people with a previous eviction or felony conviction on their record, poor credit or those whose income isn’t three times the rent are passed over leaving a rising homeless situation.

To add to the hopelessness felt by the mother the landlord did not want to renew their lease in May and was evicting them. The CDC Moratorium that helped them to stay in the home while looking for another has ended. The mother won her first eviction hearing that provided a couple more weeks but the second one that is coming would surely make them homeless. The stress and anxiety was too much to handle and unfortunately, she attempted suicide.

Donations will be used to help the families mentioned and for any of the following needs throughout Ellis County.

- Emergency needs for area shelters and motel costs

- Gas and car repairs for families living in their vehicles

- Emergency rent assistance

- ECHC case manager and housing navigator to help those being evicted and on the verge of homelessness

- Tent encampment for homeless men and their transportation for work

Donations can be made by clicking the red button at the top of our website, elliscountyhomeless.com, going to our Facebook page or through our GoFundMe account.

James Bell, President, Ellis County Homeless Coalition/Waxahachie