Charity renovating homes to build up pride for homeless families

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by DAVID SCHECHTER

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

WFAA

Posted on June 25, 2010 at 7:16 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 25 at 7:23 PM

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS - A second chance is what some homeless families in Tarrant County are getting at a new transitional housing facility.

A charity is in the midst of renovating a rundown apartment complex and making it a place where lives can be turned around.

It's been a long time since the Emerald Run Apartments in North Richland Hills got even the slightest spark of love.

"Manual labor we can do," said Carl Matthys, a volunteer.

But, about three months ago, the non-profit group the Community Enrichment Center took over, and in a big way. It is creating 108 units of transitional housing for the homeless.

Randy Clinton, with the center, said the homes will be a place for families to rebuild some pride and "become more independent, learn what needs to be done for their family to move them forward."

The center will offer reading classes, career training and case management. Residents will even go through a review of their monthly bills.

"Once we've done a budget, they've never seen that," Clinton said. "They say, 'Oh, I'm earning $1,000 but I spend $1,200. That's why I can't make it.'"

The charity knows they won't be able to help every resident break through from homeless to self-sufficiency. But for those cases where they can, Clinton said it can be a cycle breaker.

"Most homeless families come from kids that were homeless themselves," Clinton said.

E-mail: dschechter@wfaa.com

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