BELL COUNTY, Texas (FOX 44/KWKT) — Homelessness is a growing crisis across the world – and even close to home in Central Texas.

In efforts to combat homelessness in Bell County, the City of Temple and Killeen have started a new non-profit organization called Arbor of Hope. The institution will operate county-wide, with a location in both cities – Arbor of Hope West in Killeen and Arbor of Hope East in Temple.

The non-profit will provide transitional housing for the temporary and long-term homeless community.

“We want to make sure we’re providing those resources. We want to make sure we’re providing skills. And hopefully, that will help people before they even get to the point where they are experiencing homelessness in any form,” shares City of Killeen Executive Director Janell Ford. “Because, as they say, a lot of Americans are just three paychecks away from being homeless themselves. “

The transitional homes will encompass job trainings, health care triages, mental health awareness initiatives and preventative homelessness measures.

Ford also shares that these homes are about empowering those who are experiencing homelessness, “This is a transitional housing, which is totally different from a shelter [in] that transitional housing needs are short term. You are there for a reason, for purpose. You get those skills, you accomplish that goal and then you are transitioned out.”

Board member applications are open now. The Arbor of Hope is seeking to work with other non-profit agencies and community members to volunteer and get involved in the fight to reduce homelessness in Bell County.

For more information, you can go here.