In Texarkana, helping homeless starts with a headcount - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

In Texarkana, helping homeless starts with a headcount

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TEXARKANA, TX (KSLA) -

Volunteers in Bowie County, Texas canvassed the area Thursday to count the number of homeless people. Their goal is to help get them off the streets.

Nita Parker and Erin Scott are with the Texarkana Homeless Coalition. The two are among the many volunteers getting a count on the number of homeless people in Bowie and Cass counties.

"We can use these numbers to help bring in grant dollars in, from federal dollars, state dollars and other foundations," says Jennifer Laurent of the Randy Sams Outreach Center in Texarkana.

Laurent says that more than 275 people were counted last year, and they expect that number to near 300 in today's canvass.

"You can get back on your feet. It just takes time," says volunteer Jennifer Gray, who describes her work as personal.

"I kind of been there. I have been to places where I hop from house to house and not have money and come up from nothing," Gray says.

The count was only part of Thursday's mission. The homeless coalition provided a service fair for those in need.

"I was here to discuss things with the veterans about veterans benefits and what I have to do to build my veterans benefits up," says Vietnam veteran David Tiner, who lives at Randy Sams Shelter.

The Texarkana Homeless Coalition is comprised of 20 different organizations. The goal is to help the homeless and other at-risk individuals to become self-sufficient.

"They have help a lot of t6imes, and they will always help," Tiner says.

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