Since Agape opened its first house for homeless women and children in 2013, we have been fighting on the front line of homelessness. Thanks to our donors and support system, we have helped more than 100 women-led households overcome the barriers to economic stability. 75% of those households increased job skills through Agape’s education classes to higher income and graduated with higher paying jobs, increased budget and life skills, were able to afford housing and to live within their means. That is at least until rent began escalating beyond the families’ ability to keep up.
Rents have increased 30% in Plano, McKinney, and Wylie since April 2021 and 59% since December 2019. As a result of the exorbitant increases in rents, several of our graduates struggle to stay housed and many have reached back to Agape for help to keep from falling back into homelessness.
The escalating rents are not only impacting Agape women. The lack of truly affordable housing makes it almost impossible for many families to stay safely housed, including those on a fixed income and those who protect and serve our communities. Our teachers, firefighters, and police officers struggle to live in the cities they protect and serve.
At Agape, we have noticed a significant increase in the number of homeless on our streets and near the Agape office. The number will continue to grow. Affordable housing is effectively nonexistent and transitional housing agencies are chronically full. There is no emergency shelter in Collin County. Our homeless neighbors have nowhere to go.
To help with both the need for more transitional housing and the need for affordable housing, Agape is stepping out on faith and expanding in TWO areas.
* Add Agape transitional housing: We will acquire the 4th office condominium of a quad-plex in which we own the other 3 units. With that 4th unit, we will be able to apply for a Special Use Permit from the City of Plano and remodel 4 offices into townhomes, providing up to EIGHT new Agape families with Home, Help and Hope.
* Build a village of income-based apartments: We are developing Jericho Village, a 38-unit urban village of income-based apartments in Wylie. We would like to break ground this fall, but the spiraling construction costs are a huge challenge.
We know the 42 new housing units created of additional transitional and affordable housing will not provide all the housing that is needed, but they will serve as a model and example of what can be done if our community works together.
We would be honored if you would join us to create more housing for our neighbors in need.
There are many ways to join the effort. A simple way to get started is to donate to Agape through North Texas Giving Day September 1-21.
We are so grateful for your help and honored to have you join us on this important journey. Together, we can create safe stable housing for homeless women, children, and those who protect and serve our community!
With no shelter or affordable housing, Extended Stay hotels become homes on school bus routes.
A woman sleeps on the side of road on 18th street because no shelters have room.
A man looks for clean clothes in a donation bin.
Homeless family in tent near North Central Expressway and 18th Street.