Grayson County becoming destination for people in need

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- As temperatures drop below freezing, homeless residents often look for a place to escape the cold.

But non-profit organizations say as the north Texas economy rebounds, a lot of people in need are finding a home right here in the County.

Ashley Earls, Grayson County Shelter director, said a lot of people find work in the Dallas area but have to look elsewhere to find assistance to fill needs.

The Shelter gets calls all the time from around the Metroplex, and has even gotten calls from as far away as California, Earls said.

"I think people are really optimistic in this area. There are jobs," she said. "Shelters in the urban areas stay full. And what we hear is that we have a nicer shelter than the bigger towns."

At the Grand Central Station in Sherman they're planning to expand their facilities to keep up with the demand.

"I'm here every day so I can tell if we're getting a lot of new people, which we have been. We've been getting new people every day," said Ben Merrill, food manager.

Merrill said word travels quickly about the services they offer.

"We'll see some of them, and then all of the sudden they're not here for a month or two, and then they're back," he said. "So I'll say where have you been? 'Oh I was in Bonham, I had a job' or 'I was here or there,'" he said.

They feed 120 to 140 people each day - most of their guests are regulars, he said.

"We all have the same problems, but ours are on a smaller scale than Dallas is, so therefore we should be able to help them a little more," he said.

Merill said most people don't realize just how many people live on the streets.

"You don't know how fortunate you are until you come into one of these places and see what goes on," he said.

At the Grayson County Shelter, they say they have a few spots open for individuals. But all of the family rooms are a full capacity.

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