'We can't just turn our heads' to the homeless - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

'We can't just turn our heads' to the homeless

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Lawrence McMahan, right, is homeless in Denison. (KTEN) Lawrence McMahan, right, is homeless in Denison. (KTEN)
Seven Grayson County churches are working together to help the homeless. (KTEN) Seven Grayson County churches are working together to help the homeless. (KTEN)

DENISON, Texas -- Lawrence McMahan is homeless in Denison.

"You always have to go out and scout for a place to stay; a safe place where no one will find your camp and destroy your stuff," he said.

Religious leaders in Denison are working to find an answer to a growing problem across Texoma.

"We can't just turn our heads to these people and think that the problem is going to go away," said Micah Blevins, missions and outreach coordinator at Waples Memorial United Methodist Church.

People in Denison's homeless encampments are getting eviction notices to pack their bags or face jail time.

"We didn't know what to do," he said. "We didn't know where to go or who to turn to… nothing."

And that's where local churches might be able to help.

"Everybody got together to find out what we could do and where we can take these people," Blevins said.

In a statement from City of Denison spokesperson Sunny Mackey, a meeting is set for next week with representatives from seven churches in Grayson County.

The churches are hoping to consolidate the available resources for the homeless.

"Get them under one roof where we can actually meet their needs, their basic needs under that one roof," said Gwendolyn Braxton of Coffey Memorial Church of God in Christ.

In the meantime, a temporary camp has been set up for the homeless on private property. Waples Memorial United Methodist Church will continue to assist the homeless as needed.

"We just want to be better equipped to meet the needs," Blevins said.

Next week's meeting will be at Waples Church, 830 West Main Street in Denison, at 1 p.m. on March 18.

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