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'Our House' center provides stable home for young men who are homeless, at-risk

By Ariana Garza, Weekend Anchor/Crime & Courts Reporter, agarza@ktxs.com
Published On: Mar 13 2014 07:14:13 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

BCFS Health and Human Services, an international non-profit, is celebrating 70 years of service to families in need.

Our House, a BCFS transitional homes for young men, has helped approximately 40 people get back on their feet since its inception in 2010. Up to 10 men between the ages of 18 and 23 can live in the Vine Street home at a time.

KTXS reached out to two of the home’s current residents for their stories.

Chase Beggs, 19, said he aged out of foster care when he turned 18 moved in with his girlfriend in Dallas; however, the situation did not work out and he eventually wound up living on the streets for two months.

“I was arrested awhile before and after I got out [of Dallas],” Beggs said. “I went back to exactly what I was doing - stealing cars, living in the ‘trap.’”

Beggs said Our House helped him make a permanent change. He has been living in the facility for approximately one year and plans to move out in just a few weeks to start life on his own. Over the past year, he has secured a morning job at Bonzai Japanese Steakhouse and a nighttime job at McDonald’s. He also recently began making payments on his first vehicle.

“If I wasn't here I would be dead or in jail,” Beggs said. “[Our House] pretty much made me steer back to the right path.”

John Homer, also 19, admitted he was kicked out of his adoptive parents’ home because he did not follow the rules. He moved into Our House approximately three weeks ago and had been living on the streets for two weeks prior to his arrival. He has since secured a job at McDonald’s.

Homer said Our House also helped him complete his high school education at Cooper High School. He plans to continue his studies and focus on welding.

When asked where he would be today without the facility, he told KTXS: “I'd probably still be on the streets roaming around, up to no good.”

BCFS Executive Director Terri Hipps said Our House gives young men like Beggs and Homer the chance to grow up not only in age, but in maturity. She said her inspiration comes from a conversation she had with a foster teen her parents opened their home to.

“His mother was a prostitute in Dallas, Texas and he was caught stealing food for his little sister to take care of her and so through the years all of a sudden when he aged out of care, there were no resources,” Hipps said. “He didn't know how to write a check…he didn't have a job and all of a sudden he's on his own, and he impacted my life in a way that I realized these young adults have a lot of potential.”

If you’d like to donate to Our House, click here. For information on the Abilene Transition Center, which also provides services to women, click here.