KY3 recently spent time with Christopher Welch of Church Army Branson, a partner in our mission. You can learn more about the Point In Time count through our Link to Church Army.
Branson seeks help counting homeless population
by Kristin Nelson, KY3 News
Story Updated: Jun 23, 2009 at 11:47 AM CDT
BRANSON, Mo. — Behind the Branson strip, in the backwoods of Taney County, Christopher Welch of Church Army took a reporter and videographer off the beaten path, through tall weeds and trees, to show us a place that one man calls home.
“He’s taken plywood and 2x4s back here and made a house, and he was here in the wintertime when we surveyed him as well. He’s got a mattress in there; you can tell he’s been eating. He’s got jeans drying,” said Welch.
From a shack in the woods to a car at a campsite, Daniel Deno, his wife and three kids are the new face of homelessness, now living out of their car. The family drove to Branson in pursuit of Deno’s singing career but the job still hasn’t panned out and they’re struggling.
“It’s tough on us a little bit but we don’t want the kids to think about it, so we pull through for them, stay positive and say it will be all right,” said Deno.
“When I see something like this my heart goes out,” said Welch.
Welch says he knows what Deno is going through.
“I was homeless and it was horrible. I had this horrible feeling, overwhelming feeling of disparity. That’s what people that face homelessness go through every single day. They don’t know where they’re going to be able to live, where they’re going to get their next meal, where they can have the dignity to take a shower or use the restroom,” said Welch.
It’s the reason that Welch seeks out homeless people. He has a mission to help people like Deno find a suitable place to call home.
“We can’t solve all their problems that day but we’re working hard to make sure we try at a goal to make that happen,” said Welch.
There is a class explaining the homeless count and the need for volunteers, that’s Tuesday night (June 23) from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Centurytel in Branson. You can also call Church Army at (417) 339-3997.