CBS 19's Anthony Austin experiences one night without a home - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

CBS 19's Anthony Austin experiences one night without a home

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TYLER (KYTX) - On any given night in Smith County, statistics show more than 400 people are homeless.

For 14 hours, CBS 19's Anthony Austin will learn what it's like to be homeless in an event called "One Night Without a Home."

"I felt lonely in my life and I started drinking. It led to bad choices, just making bad choices, one after another," said Sandra Herndon. 

Sandra Herndon was homeless just a few months ago.

She shared her story with me and more than 100 people who will sleep in Bergfeld Park for the night.

"Bad things happen to good people and I'm an example," said Herndon. 

In the 2013 Smith County Homelessness Assessment Report, more than 200 homeless people were interviewed.

76 percent of those interviewed were adults, 24 percent were children.

"Many of the people who are homeless are usually homeless because of unemployment. They were laid off and they haven't been able to find gainful employment since then," said Christina Fulsom.

Christina Fulsom with the East Texas Human Needs Network says agencies, such as the Salvation Army and PATH, are working to get those people off the streets.

"They're starting with prevention. How do we keep people from becoming homeless? Help them with rent and mortgage, utilities to prevent it," explained Fulsom. 

Sandra was able to get the help she needed. She's employed again and about to buy her own home.

"I never dreamed of owning my own home at this time in my life," said Herndon. 

She says it only happened, because people were there to help her out in her time of need.

"I know I will be the one to help the next person, another me," added Herndon.

This event is part of national hunger and homelessness awareness week. It's a national endeavor to promote education, action, and awareness about hunger and homelessness.

Anthony will share his experience of sleeping at Bergfeld Park with Clint and Dana on our morning show, which starts at 5:30 a.m.

Anthony is detailing his experience on his facebook page, CLICK HERE TO "LIKE" HIS PAGE.

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