The Texarkana Homeless Coalition will again take its mission to the streets with the annual point-in-time homeless count on January 22and second annual Bridge City Project January 23.

Coalition members will be conducting its annual homeless population count on Thursday, January 22. Every year the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires all Homeless Coalitions to collect data on homelessness during the last week in January.

Additionally, the Texarkana Homeless Coalition will host the second annual Bridge City Project on Friday, January 23. 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 the segment of our community who are most in need.

Its challenge is simple -- spend one night living the plight of the homeless.

Participants will spend the event night sleeping outside in a box or they may buy their way out with a $100 donation and a stand-in person to fill their box. In addition to “box residents,” the coalition is asking for monetary sponsors and event volunteer teams.

Press outlets are encouraged to be on hand as government officials, local businesses, churches, and social service agencies participate in this city-wide initiative.

For the second consecutive year, local schools will participate in building sleeping structures that will be used at the event. Awards will be given in several categories. New this year is a chili cook-off. The entry fee for this event is $25 and contestants are asked to make enough chili for 50 people. Any leftovers will be given to the local shelters.

The event will take place at the corner of Fourth and Elm Street in Texarkana, Texas beginning January 23 at 6 p.m. and ending January 24 at 8 a.m. Funds raised through this project and other projects sponsored by the Texarkana Homeless Coalition are used to help fund solutions to chronic homelessness.

For entry forms or for more information, visit the Texarkana Homeless Coalition.