KILLEEN, Texas (FOX 44) – The City of Killeen is looking for volunteer board members for its new Arbor of Hope nonprofit organization. This will be an independent entity leading the Bell County coordination and management of all services working with the homeless population.

The City says Arbor of Hope will operate on a county-wide level, with bases of operation in Killeen and Temple (Arbor of Hope West and East). The purpose is to provide transitional housing for the temporary and long-term homeless community, and to have a wide range of services provided on site by multiple agencies.

The City says board members would need to be passionate and very involved as they work to prevent, divert and dramatically reduce homelessness in the county.

Interested applicants can apply at between June 2 and June 18. Citizens can email for more information. The City will have no governing authority over this board, as with the Killeen Housing Authority – only this initial appointment.

Both campuses of Arbor of Hope will include a transformational center for up to 100 people. The Transformational Center will provide an alternate setting for clients while they work on the underlying causes of why they are experiencing homelessness and move toward permanent housing solutions.

Some on-site features include a dining and food service area, community garden space, health care triage, coordination with service partners for individuals who suffer from mental health and substance abuse, space to help create job opportunities and more. Pets are also welcome.

The City partnered with the City of Temple in 2022 to work with a consultant on appropriately addressing homelessness in Bell County. Dr. Robert Marbut, Jr. gathered statistics on those experiencing homelessness in the Killeen area, conducted focus groups and surveys and engaged with local and regional agencies and stakeholders before presenting the Homeless and Mental Strategic Plan.

In September 2022, he addressed the five strategic keys to successfully manage and reduce homelessness, as well as five cohorts of homeless groups in Bell County and key data observations.

A final plan was presented to the public and council, as well as adopted in February 2023. Arbor of Hope West is targeted to open mid-to-late 2024.