TEXARKANA — The Texarkana Homeless Coalition (TXKHC) will conduct its annual Point-In-Time homeless population observational count on Jan. 28 at 902 West 12th Street in Texarkana, Texas.
On Jan. 29, TXKHC will also hold its annual Bridge City Project Chili Cookoff starting at 5:00 p.m. and ending at 8:00 p.m. at 316 Hazel Street in Texarkana, Arkansas, in front of the Salvation Army shelter.
The theme of this year’s cookoff is sports teams. Attendees are encouraged to show off their support for their favorite sports team while raising awareness about homelessness.
The entry fee is $25 and contestants are asked to make enough chili for about 100 samples.
“Some of the deepest needs we have as human beings are to be heard, seen, and accepted,” TXKHC chair Vashil Fernandez said. “It is not often that the homeless and impoverished in our community get to experience the satisfaction of these most basic needs. Bridge City Chili Cook-Off provides an opportunity for us as a twin city to cross the socioeconomic line and identify with the plight of our neighbors for one night while raising money to provide for their needs at the same time. So, we invite everyone to come out and join us for an evening filled with chili, awareness and fun, while social distancing and wearing our masks.”
Contestants for the chili cook-off will be judged for Best Presentation, People’s Choice, and Best in Texarkana. A special Top Restaurant category has been added for 2021.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development requires all homeless coalitions to count the number of homeless by the last week of January. PIT count offers insight into understanding local homeless population, current needs, and provides data for future funding of programs that combat homelessness.
The funds raised through Bridge City Chili Cookoff and other projects sponsored by TXKHC will be used to fund scholarships for educational opportunities for those experiencing homelessness and provide training and technical assistance for local agencies.