Hiring, construction of campus to help unsheltered citizens transition is ongoing
KILLEEN, Texas (Sept. 29, 2023) – The City of Killeen’s Homeless and Mental Health Strategic Plan is moving forward with construction of a transitional center to assist those experiencing homelessness in Killeen.
The Homeless and Mental Health Strategic Plan was first presented to Council in September 2022 by consultant, Dr. Robert Marbut, Jr., who spent months gathering statistics and conducting focus groups to study those experiencing homelessness in Bell County.
The City of Killeen’s Homeless and Mental Health Strategic Plan includes earmarked funds for the construction of the multiplex with transitional housing and hiring a Licensed Master Social Worker, and we are track to continue this effort.
“As the City progresses in the implementation phase of the plan, we do anticipate there may be a need to refine our approach to ensure that the services needed to address homelessness and mental health in our community are delivered with the intent to maximize optimum, long-term success,” City Manager, Kent Cagle, said. “The City anticipates that there could be some changes coming, including a renaming and restructuring of the Arbor of Hope campus.”
Local agencies from all over the county have participated in the plan since the beginning – including faith-based groups, service industries, first responders and school districts— and we will continue to work with them as we move forward. The project began with the City of Killeen partnering with the City of Temple to hire a consultant to help appropriately address homelessness in Bell County.
“It is my hope that in the future, the City would be able to continue to coordinate our efforts with Temple and Bell County,” Mayor Debbie Nash-King said.
Dr. Marbut’s studies addressed the five, strategic keys to successfully managing and reducing homelessness (understanding the exact problems, addressing the root causes/triggers, making big changes, improving service delivery, and ‘engaging’ vs. ‘enabling’) and key data observations (including duration, gender trends, pre and post-employment numbers, homeless veteran rates and home-grown metrics).
The consultant is focused on five cohorts of homeless groups in Bell County, including those in encampments, males, women, families and individuals at risk of homelessness.
The City has had information and videos on our website since Council adopted the plan. Citizens can find it on www.KilleenTexas.gov/EndHomelessness.