MERKEL, Texas - Love and Care Ministries, which already has a location in Abilene, opened a food and clothing ministry in Merkel in May to help the homeless and poor population there.
Even though it has only been open about a month they have already served more than 200 families there.
Mark Hewitt said Love and Care in Merkel has different needs that the Abilene ministry.
"It's not really homeless like in the community of Abilene. It's probably more poverty. People are just trying to survive, working poor maybe, just really trying to do what they can to survive," said Mark.
The population in Merkel is only about 2600 people, but the U.S. Census Bureau said almost a third of them are currently living below the poverty level.
That's why the ministry Mark helped found provides people in Merkel with clothing, food, furniture and a place to shower.
Paula Sappington said she lost everything after she was told to move out of her apartment.
"To know that you have somebody that'll be there for you and that's what this place resembles... Most definitely has changed my life and made everything easier cause I had to leave everything," said Sappington.
Mark said he is very proud to see his son Zack run the Merkel ministry. Zack said what's most important to him, isn't that people leave with material things, but that they "know that we love them and that God loves them."
Love and Care Ministries relies on volunteers to help prepare food boxes and sort through donated clothing. To volunteer or to donate items visit either of the ministry locations.