SAN MARCOS, Texas — According to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, there are more than 25,000 Texans experiencing homelessness on any given day.
- Consignment shop helps the homeless
- Gives out vouchers for clothes and other items
- Owner wants to help others get back on their feet
San Marcos resident Tammie Mathis makes it her mission to support those in need wherever she can.
"I was homeless at one time, after the flood I was homeless and lost my RV," Mathis said. "FEMA said that wasn't a home, so you don't get anything."
Mathis was able to get back on her feet, and now wants to help others do the same.
"I know what it feels like and I feel like if you haven't been there, you don't know what it feels like when you're in a flood you have nothing to wear that next morning," Mathis said. "And that's what happens to some of these people. They will get evicted, they lock the house, they have nothing. They don't know what to do."
That's where her consignment shop, Justin Time Thrift Store, can help. What may look like your typical thrift store off Ranch Road 12 goes way beyond the transactions at the cash register.
"I didn't open this store for the money, just opened this store to help people because that's my passion. We don't make a lot of money, we keep the doors open is all we do to be able to give back," Mathis said.
It's a place where she can provide donated things like clothing, shoes, and blankets for those experiencing homelessness.
"We get several calls a day, of people in need, and we tell them to come out, we give them a voucher we give them whatever they need," Mathis said.
By being a homeless advocate, Mathis said she's built a rapport with them.
"I go out to these places, under the bridges and I ask what what do you need today, just today? What can I do for you?"
Mathis said she's even seen her efforts come full circle.
"We had one lady that came in, needed a job and didn't have interview clothes. She was able to get a job and she came back crying and said, 'I got that job because you gave me those clothes.' And then she came back and donated stuff after she got on her feet, and that's what it's about. It's a community effort and networking," Mathis said.
That networking was instilled in her through multiple generations in her family.
"This started way back with my grandfather," Mathis said. "Back in those days, people would be hitchhiking and riding trains. He would send me out to the road and say, 'Tammie, go get that man.' And I'd be like Grandpa, but we don't know him. ‘It doesn't matter,’ he'd say. He's God's child. We would feed him and give him a place to sleep that night and he would go about his way."
Mathis said her ultimate goal is to always provide those experiencing homelessness a place to stay.
"To have an overnight shelter where they can come in out the elements, check in and check out, have a hot breakfast before they get out back on the streets. I have so many goals, and it's going to happen. These people, I call them my forgotten family, but I'm there for them," Mathis said.
Justin Time Thrift Store is always accepting donations. To find out more about how you can check out the store, visit its website.