TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A local nonprofit began with one goal in mind: ending homelessness.
They plan to reach that goal and they’re starting with a retired school bus.
The East Texas Sheltering Arms Coalition has converted an old school bus into a mobile soup kitchen and diner.
“We started as a nonprofit for developing a working tiny homes community for homeless veterans,” says David Peters, the president of the coalition. “We are working on getting a property to do that, but the bus is something we acquired and started converting to use as a resource – a tool for us to get out in the community to find individuals and help them, find out what their needs are and build a relationship with them.”
Peters says the coalition has a heart for all homeless people but puts a focus on veterans because of the service they’ve provided.
“We’re going to have a place to get the homeless vets off the street,” says Peters. “Because of the service they’ve done for us, we really want to try to get them off the street and find them hope.”
The bus is meant to serve a different purpose than just a food line, according to Peters.
“We didn’t want to just hand out meals to the homeless. We wanted to actually invite them into a diner situation where they were treated like anyone else – where they could sit down and be served a meal.”
Peters says the design of the mobile diner also gives volunteers the opportunity to interact with the people and get to know them.
If you’re interested in donating to or volunteering for the coalition, click here.