Refuge Corporation raises homelessness awareness

By PAMELA GRANT
Cove Leader-Press

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, there are over 500,000 homeless people in the United States, and, according to the Texas Homeless Network, there are an estimated 560 homeless people in the Central Texas area.
Copperas Cove’s Refuge Corporation did its part to help raise awareness about homelessness and raise money to provide assistance to those in need. 
Saturday morning, it held the 2nd annual 5k Run/Walk for the Homeless at the Killeen Community Center Andy Wells Hike and Bike Trail. 
Drawn to do their part and support the cause, approximately 375 people participated in the 5k.
Hundreds of people from Copperas Cove, Killeen, Harker Heights, and other surrounding cities attended the event, many stating that they attended the event to support the cause.
“The route was confusing, so I ran five minutes slower…But I look past that for the cause,” said Sandrae Band who was the first to finish the race with a time of 22:08. Band knows what it’s like to be homeless, and that never know what obstacles life might throw at you. Band managed to help himself out, attending nursing school and eventually joining the Army. 
Band said that helping the homeless is a cause that’s very near to his heart. He added that he also liked the fact that Saturday’s 5k was a family-friendly event with young and old alike participating.
“It was so much fun. This is the first time I’ve ever participated in something like this,” said Cathy Huerta. Huerta lives in Illinois, but her daughter-in-law invited her to attend the 5k. She said that her daughter collects items for the homeless, and her other children also regularly give back and support the community. “That’s why we’re here—to give back,” said Huerta.
“The reason why we’re doing this is to bring awareness of homelessness in the Central Texas area,” said Joseph Solomon, executive director of Refuge Corporation. “There are a lot of people that are homeless, from children to adults.”
Solomon added that the Refuge Corporation isn’t the only group fighting homelessness. He said they are just one link in the chain for the solution.
Refuge Corporation operates the House of Refuge Women’s Shelter for homeless women and children, and transitional housing for families, as well as the Safe Harbour Support and Men’s Shelter Program. 
Refuge Corporation seeks to strengthen and preserve families through various programs helping meet needs such as housing, educational, mental, emotional needs, and more.

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