Letter from the President.

April 15, 2021

Dear Pastors of All Ellis County’s Ministerial Alliances:

We are beginning to see a surge of evictions in Ellis County. The Texas Supreme Court has allowed evictions to go forward in lieu of the CDC Moratorium that was extended to June 30th. Families and individuals may lose their homes and do not have the financial means to move to a new location. We are calling on you to help them make this stressful transition easier. The Ellis County Homeless Coalition (ECHC) has multiple opportunities for your church to do this and show the love of our Lord to our neighbors.

Provide shelter for evicted women, children and men

In our search for shelter, we found two wings of a closed nursing home, with 18 rooms, that are available for rent where we could house women with children after their eviction. There is currently a mother with four children in the Ennis ISD that has been evicted and needs this place to stay. Right now she is in a hotel in Waxahachie, taking her children to school in Ennis every day. The ECHC is paying for her hotel right now but she needs something longer than a week or two.

Why a Waxahachie hotel if she’s in Ennis, you ask? Currently many hotels in Ennis are full because of local events and others are too expensive for us to cover. We are asking for your help, not only for this mother, but for the others soon to come. The 18 rooms, some with four beds, average $350 per month per room. This would cover not only the cost of the facility but also other necessities that arise for these families. Would you be able to help us with any part of that cost?

Ellis County needs a men’s shelter. It has been a need for years. When we provided hotel rooms during the February Freeze, most of them were for men. We are looking for an existing building that could be used or land where we could build one. With the growth in our county, and the future state of evictions, it is time we recognize the need and provide shelter to our men.

Volunteer with ECHC

Help stop evictions and recover payments for landlords. The ECHC is seeking volunteers who can monitor the hearings in one of the four Justice of the Peace Eviction Courts throughout Ellis County. Volunteers will be asked to silently take notes of their observations during these hearings and collect specific information regarding the outcome of the cases. Volunteers will also review eviction filings to provide that information to the ECHC Court Watch program. The information will be used to assist tenants facing eviction by allowing ECHC to determine what resources can be most effective to them.

Outreach and Transportation

There is a huge need to provide transportation to our homeless friends to work or medical appointments. Those that have their own vehicles also need help with maintenance or a donation to help them fix their car.

We have volunteer opportunities to assist with our Street Outreach Program that meets new homeless friends as they are reported to us and to do our monthly checks to provide necessities and determine if anyone needs help.

Donate to the Ellis County Homeless Coalition

In addition to providing the $350 per month/per room to house women and children, we also will need funds for our Court Watch program. Although there are some pro bono attorneys to provide tenant representation and law students providing pro bono mediation services, we anticipate that there will be tenants who will need to hire attorneys to file cases in Federal Court to protect their rights, if landlords move for eviction in violation of the tenants’ rights under the CDC’s Federal Moratorium. Funds will be needed to help defray any associated legal costs and related expenses as these tenants will face significant challenges finding another rental with an eviction on their record, despite being eligible to remain housed under the CDC Moratorium.

We have been allowed to use some land for a tent encampment for men and will purchase tents, sleeping bags and necessities for those living there. We are requesting monetary donations for these tents and bags so we can purchase them because each one must be exactly the same in the encampment. Donations are also needed for finding, developing, and building, or renovating a building, for either a men’s shelter or affordable housing.

Finally, we have been provided an opportunity to rent an office at a huge discount. Now, we will need to furnish that office. If you have a gently used desk, file cabinet or other office furnishings or supplies, please call me so I can arrange to have it picked up.

Make donations by clicking on the DONATE button at the top of the page or mail a check to Ellis County Homeless Coalition, 106 Chapman Cir, Waxahachie, TX 75165 .

Volunteer by contacting me at james@elliscountyhomeless.com.

Please help us provide justice for those who are now facing homelessness and looking for another home and be in prayer for landlords who are trying to hang on to their properties. We are praying for good Samaritans to step forward who will respond to these unique needs.

In His Name,

James Bell






elliscountyhomeless.com | info@elliscountyhomeless.com