On January 27, 2017, the Texarkana Homeless Coalition will again take its mission to the streets with the fourth annual Bridge City Project.

The event is designed to be a challenge to community leaders, government officials, and residents to raise awareness -- and funds -- and to reach out to a segment of our community who are most in need. Their challenge is simple -- spend one night living the plight of the homeless.

Participants, who may be individuals or part of a team, will spend the event night sleeping outside in a box. Each participant is asked to try and raise a minimum of $100 for the event. Those who spend the entire night outside will be given shirts and included in a drawing for a Yeti cooler. The coalition's goal is to have at least 100 boxes occupied community wide with a fundraising goal of $15,000.

The Bridge City Project is also seeking sponsors and volunteers.

For the fourth consecutive year local schools and churches will participate in building sleeping structures that will be used at the fundraiser.

For the third year, there will be a chili cook-off. The entry fee for the cook-off is $25 and contestants are asked to make enough chili for 50 people. Any left overs will be given to the local shelters.

The event will take place at the corner of Fifth and Oak Street in Texarkana, Texas beginning Friday, January 27 at 6PM and ending Saturday, January 28 at 6AM. Funds raised through this project and other projects sponsored by the Texarkana Homeless Coalition will be used for a VISTA position to coordinate homeless services, fund scholarships for educational opportunities for those experiencing homelessness, and provide capacity building support for direct service agencies in the way of training and technical assistance.

Coalition members will also be conducting their annual point-in-time homeless population count on Thursday, January 26, 2017. Every year the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires all Homeless Coalitions to collect data on homelessness by the last week in January.

For entry forms or for more information on the Texarkana Homeless Coalition please visit their website.