The colder weather means it's time for the annual Bridge City Chili Cook-Off at the end of this month as the Texarkana Homeless Coalition (TXKHC) also conducts its annual Point-In-Time (PIT) homeless population observational count. the count will take place on Thursday, January 28.  at 902 W. 12th Street, Texarkana, Texas. Then the Chili Cook-Off is the next day January 29.

TXKHC’s Bridge City Project Chili Cookoff will be held starting at 5PM and end at 8PM at 316 Hazel Street in Texarkana, AR in front of the Salvation Army shelter.

The annual Bridge City Chili Cookoff challenges members of the community or organizations to enter their best chili in a chili cook-off competition. To register for the annual Bridge City Chili Cook-Off 2021 visit at www.txkhc.org or https://www.facebook.com/events/122176533081933

According to a press release, every year the Department of Housing and Urban Development requires all homeless coalitions to count the number of homeless individuals by the last week in January. The PIT count offers insight into understanding our local homeless population, their current needs, and provide data to secure future funding for programs that combat homelessness.

On January 29, 2021, the day after the PIT count, the Texarkana Homeless Coalition will host the annual Bridge city chili cook-off to discuss the plight of homelessness and raise money. The theme of the event is sports teams. TXKHC encourages attendees of the chili cook-off to show off their spirit for their favorite sports team while raising awareness about homelessness. The entry fee is $25, and contestants are asked to make enough chili for approximately 100 samples. Contestants for the chili cook-off will be judged for Best Presentation, People’s Choice, and Best in Texarkana. A special Top Restaurant category has been added this year.

Vashil Fernandez, Chair of TXKHC, encourages the community to attend the event.

“Some of the deepest needs we have as human beings are to be heard, seen, and accepted,” Fernandez said. “It is not often that the homeless and impoverished in our community get to experience the satisfaction of these most basic needs. Bridge City Chili Cook-Off provides an opportunity for us as a twin city to cross the socioeconomic line and identify with the plight of our neighbors for one night while raising money to provide for their needs at the same time. So, we invite everyone to come out and join us for an evening filled with chili, awareness and fun, while social distancing and wearing our masks.”

The funds raised through Bridge City Chili Cook-Off and other projects sponsored by TXKHC will be used to fund scholarships for educational opportunities for those experiencing homelessness and provide training and technical assistance for local agencies.

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