Christian Non-Profit Teams Up with Grand Prairie-Based Homeless Relief Initiative to Raise Awareness and Offer Support
IRVING, Texas, August 5, 2020 – In an effort to help bring attention to the growing number of homeless individuals in Texas, OneShare Health has partnered with the Grand Prairie Homeless Organization Outreach (GPHOO).
A 501(c)(3) non-profit and Christian charity, the GPHOO was established to help Grand Prairians experiencing what the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines as “Category 1 homelessness” – when individuals are living in places not meant for human habitation, including cars, underpasses, sheds, and unsheltered in the outdoors.
Launched in late 2019 by supporters led by Tammy Chan, who serves as the Coordinator and Street Outreach Case Manager, the ministry seeks to locate the homeless in Grand Prairie who, for the most part, are hidden, and to assess their needs and serve them in the absence of other services for the homeless. Chan, who worked for the City of Grand Prairie for over 20 years, said she witnessed firsthand through her job just how limited care and resources were for the homeless population in Grand Prairie.
“I saw that there were homeless in the City, but because they are hidden, there are no programs dedicated to helping them,” said Chan. “There is no homeless shelter or day resource center and no place where they can get help getting their IDs or birth certificates or Social Security cards. There was no soup kitchen, nor a place for them to get food. There is no public transportation. They are just out there wondering, suffering and not thriving. The Lord put it on my heart to help them, so as soon as I became eligible to retire, I did and worked with others to launch the GPHOO.”
Due to the lack of shelter, the homeless in Grand Prairie hide to protect their camping spots and to avoid prejudice concerning their circumstances. Many work and others are on disability. However, due to the lack of affordable housing and other barriers, they are homeless.
In 2019, there were 25,848 Texans experiencing homelessness in a single night, according to HUD’s Point in Time (PIT) Count. The men, women, and families the GPHOO serves are either living unsheltered or residing in motels, where rent is as much as $50 per day. According to a July 16 post on the GPHOO’s Facebook page, the spike in COVID-19 cases has resulted in more Category 1 homelessness in Grand Prairie and, consequently, impacted the GPHOO’s ability to respond to all of the new and existing requests for aid.
“There are people staying with relatives and friends who are being told they must leave because ‘Grandma can be exposed to COVID with so many people here,’” read the post. “Family can evict family members and friends can evict friends, and it’s happening a lot right now.”
With its Mission to empower people with the Freedom of Choice by providing biblical alternatives to traditional health insurance, Texas-based HCSM and Christian non-profit OneShare Health has emphatically offered their support to Chan’s cause by selecting the GPHOO as its partner charity for the month of August.
“OneShare Health is a family, first and foremost,” said Heather Harrington, EVP of Marketing at OneShare, “and family doesn’t turn its back on each other. God has called on us to be good stewards of His teachings, to practice love and hospitality toward all of our brothers and sisters, especially now, when COVID-19 is threatening the health and livelihood of so many. People are losing hope, and OneShare Health is wholeheartedly committing to restoring hope through partnering with charities like the GPHOO.”
Anyone who is interested in learning more about the GPHOO and how they can be of service is invited to follow the GPHOO and OneShare Health on social media or visit OneShare’s Mission in Motion page.
About OneShare Health:
OneShare Health is an ACA-exempt, non-profit, Christian Health Care Sharing Ministry (HCSM) based in Irving, Texas, that facilitates the sharing of medical expenses among individuals and families who are united by a set of shared religious beliefs. Health care sharing ministries are not traditional Christian health insurance and do not accept risk or make guarantees regarding payment of bills submitted by Members.
About Grand Prairie Homeless Outreach Organization:
Acknowledging the plight of those experiencing homelessness in Grand Prairie, TX, the Grand Prairie Homeless Outreach Organization (GPHOO) was formed in late 2019 as a faith-based 501 (c)(3). As the only organization dedicated to serving the homeless, we provide food, transportation assistance, job training, resource connections, and much more. We are on Facebook at @gphoo81 and can be contacted at 214-212-7958 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.”
Proverbs 3:27 (NIV)