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Eviction support group forms in Ellis Co.

As moratoriums lift, renters hit with 3-mo. balance
Sunday, June 28, 2020
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As a result of the number of homeless individuals in Ellis County, and in anticipation of that number growing through evictions this summer, a local cooperative group has been designated to help.

The Ellis County Homeless Coalition was created after three years of formative meetings. The Texas Homeless Network, as the Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care agency for the county, was recently approved and they formed a 501(C)3 group.

According to their president, James Bell, they have official responsibility of not only conducting the annual homeless count but also to provide support services as well as available funding to help those who are homeless or on the verge of being homeless.

The January 2020 Point-in-Time Count, which is sent to HUD, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, headed nationally by Ben Carson. Currently there are 74 people experiencing homelessness among the 184,826 area residents. This figure includes people of all ages living unsheltered or in a temporary shelter.

The total count of Ellis County students classified as homeless, as of January 2022, was 435. That number comes from statistics of the 11 school districts in the county. As recently as June 1, the organization has found 70 families in this area who are living in hotels.

“We are anticipating the homeless numbers to drastically increase due to job losses created during the pandemic,” said Bell, “and evictions to dramatically increase beginning in August and September.

He continued by explaining that unemployment filings with Workforce Solutions have grown to over 10,000 and surveys indicate 25 percent do not have a job to go back to.”

Bell welcomes area residents, businesses and organizations to become part of the solution by learning about and support the group’s efforts. For more information, contact them at or visit

According to data compiled by Lone Star Legal Aid, almost 1,000 eviction cases have been filed in Harris County by late May. Less than 600 were filed in April.

While cities and states have paused evictions due to COVID-19, renters will eventually need assistance should the pandemic persist. This organization plans to be the liaison between between clients and property owners.

The real world is that landlords are growing restless and need paying tenants into their properties. As rent freezes are lifting, evictions are following. The respite did not cancel monthly payments. In verity, renters can receive a three-month bill as a result when eviction moratoriums are lifted.

Eviction notices could begin on May 25, though local laws may add protections and lengthen suspensions. In Austin, San Marcos and Dallas, tenants have the right to catch up on their balance.