Texas Homeless Network comes to Paris

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PARIS, TX - Homelessness is invisible to many people of Paris and the ones that are mostly affected is the youth.

"In the Paris school district they can identify 150 homeless children." said Lamar County United Way Executive Director April Carl.

Carl says that number doesn't even include the other four school districts in Lamar County.

Originally the city and county's homeless population was estimated in the 60s, but some believe that number is not even close.

"There are estimates we can use, the community has told me that those estimates are far less than what the reality is." said Texas Homeless Network representative Eric Samuels.

Several organizations that help people in need in the community listened to the Texas Homeless Network, with the goal of forming a coalition to fight the problem.

"In order to make a true impact for our homeless in this community, we all need to work together." said Carl.

"We're working with the community to identify what the needs are and really how we can help them as an agency." said Samuels.

New Hope Executive Director Gay Ballew says there are only a few places in Paris where someone can get help: A women's shelter that can house 30 and a men's shelter that can house 12, but nothing for the youth.

"Our primary goal is address the needs of the homeless, whether they be children or they be grown adults." said Ballew.

Dozens of community members have come forward also interested in helping out. Future meetings are in the works.

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