AUSTIN, Texas — Seven years ago, Hanna Durrance moved to San Marcos as a single mother with four children.
"I was actually homeless when we arrived in San Marcos," said Durrance.
Pictures showed her living in a motel because she couldn't find affordable housing.
"I've encountered the fact there's a long waiting list for public housing, there were few resources for a place to sleep," said Durrance.
When Durrance finally found a home, the 2015 floods hit.
She was homeless again.
"It was traumatic," said Durrance. "It was challenging to try to figure out where I needed to be to get the resources that I needed. It was challenging to figure out a system that I was unfamiliar with."
Durrance said she is not alone.
According to the homeless shelter in San Marcos, the South Side Community Center, there are between 50 to 100 people who experience homelessness every year.
Those numbers are just the adults.
"The public school system reports 120 homeless children but we don't see 120 children on the street corner because those children are in the school district during the day or they're in motels or they're in cars," said Durrance.
Durrance and other advocates have a name for this.
"It's what's known as 'invisible homelessness.' It's not what we see on the street corner," said Durrance.
That's why Durrance and other homeless advocates just started a new non-profit group called the Homeless Outreach Mitigation and Emergency Center, or the HOME Center.
The group recently visited the Community First Village in East Austin in hopes of bringing a similar model to San Marcos.
"Because our homeless population is very different than the one in Austin, we would have to change that model quite a bit," said Tegan DeBrock.
City Council Member Joca Marquez is trying to find a facility to house the HOME Center.
"We do currently have South Side Community Center but it's just not enough," said DeBrock. "It's just not enough, they're limited with the resources, they're limited with funding, limited with space to really address all the issues and all the need in San Marcos."
Using her experience, Durrance is president of the HOME Center, hoping to help as many homeless get the resources they need.
With growth and rising costs, the wait list for public housing in San Marcos is between three to four years.
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