Brown County Home Solutions sets summer plans for shelter

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
Brown County Home Solutions,which is located at the former Avenue D Baptist Church in Brownwood, was created to address homelessness in Brown County.

Reiterating the need for the community’s help, Brown County Home Solutions is preparing to open its shelter July 1 through Aug. 31 in a dual capacity — as an overnight shelter seven days a week, and as a cooling station five afternoons a week.

The shelter was last open on April 23 before closing at the end of cold weather.

After Aug. 31, Brown County Home Solutions will evaluate the weather and decide whether to keep the shelter open into September.

“If we have an extremely hot September, then we’ll continue," executive director Linda Heitman said. “If it’s till extremely hot, we’ll extend it. But if it’s not, we’ll close and we’ll reopen when it gets cold. We just don’t have the funding to be open year round yet.”

After the shelter reopens on July 1, it will serve as a cooling station Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m. “They can come in, cool off, get cold water, sandwiches if they want,” Heitman said.

Also beginning July 1, the shelter will be open for overnight stays from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m., Monday through Friday. 

Brown County Home Solutions is applying for an annual state grant that will be used for community assistance, the shelter and street outreach program. The grant amount will be $83,000, the same as last year’s grant.

The organization continues to seek donations from the community, as well as volunteers.

Donations that are needed include sandwich material and bottled water for the cooling station. “For the shelter we need meat, laundry supplies, paper goods, cleaning supplies. And money. We always need money,” Heitman said.

The Legacy Village community of tiny homes is "doing great," with a total of five units occupied, Heitman said. Work on units 6 and 7 — a duplex — has come to a stop because of a shortage of foam insulation. "We cannot progress until we get the insulation," she said.