Each year, in January, the US government holds a Point In Time count to survey and count the number of homeless people in the country. The date for this year’s PIT count is slated for Jan. 24.

In conjunction with that census, the Local Homeless Coalition in Ellis County and House of Praise will host the “Let’s Get Warm Giveaway” at the House of Praise, located at 1264 N. Interstate 35-E in Waxahachie. The event will coincide with the PIT count and runs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.

The event is designed to attract any homeless persons in the county so that a trained volunteer can conduct the survey. The information gathered helps demonstrate a need for programs and services to people experiencing homelessness. The study takes less than ten minutes and must be on Jan. 24

During the event, hot, home-style meals will be served at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There will also be several items to be given to the local homeless population including coats, blankets, and toiletries. The organizing groups also expect to have a hair stylist on site to offer haircuts at no charge. Transportation for homeless persons to attend the event will be available as well as an opportunity to shower for those in need of this.

Several ministries and churches will host information booths to showcase their services offered to homeless persons in Ellis County. These will include 1Twenty2 Ministries, The Hope Clinic, Daniel’s Den and Samaritan House, CHAYAH!, and Presbyterian Children’s Home and Services among others.

During the lunch hour, Felecia Warner will be the guest speaker.

Warner holds a master’s degree in Gerontology from the University of North Texas and volunteers for Ellis County Habitat for Humanity, Area Agency on Aging and Red Oak ISD Community Advisory Council. She serves as secretary for Ellis County African American Hall of Fame, is appointed to North Central Texas Housing Finance Corporation, representing Ellis County, and Ellis County Volunteer Guardianship Program (inactive). Warner retired from City of Waxahachie, as Health and Housing Specialist, in 2014 to care for her husband, Winston. She will speak on cultural housing issues broadly and the situation in Ellis County.

The group does have a few additional needs, however. Those needs include:

—Volunteers to train in taking the survey. Training will be offered from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Jan. 14 at the Community Room of the Waxahachie Police Department.

—Items for the giveaway such as coats, blankets, gloves and caps, can be taken to the Waxahachie Police Department, 630 Farley St. in Waxahachie.

—Churches, ministries, and non-profits to host information booths at the event to publicize what they are doing to help and to build relationships with our homeless friends.

—Volunteers to provide breakfast and/or lunch for the event.

If you want to be a part of this event or help in any way, contact Kasie Linker, House of Praise, at (918) 351-3678.