A safe place for women
The Well on Avenue G provides a getaway for women whose lives may be in turmoil. Also in this issue: City OKs plan for new solid waste complex, and it's Christmas Parade day in Temple!
MONDAY DECEMBER 6, 2021
“Want” does not end once the ornaments are packed away — it is a reality for some 365 days a year, but there is a place in Temple that is trying to alleviate that burden if only for a few hours at a time.
The Well, a day center for women is located in a small remodeled house on Avenue G in Temple, is not a shelter but a place where women can shower, relax, receive counseling and participate in Bible studies.
The Well gives women a break from life on the streets if only for a few hours
By JENNIFER WILSON, Our Town Temple
Whether or not we are ready, the holidays are upon us.
After the last bite of pumpkin pie is swallowed on Thanksgiving Day until 11:59 p.m. on Christmas Eve, it is a mad dash to buy and wrap gifts, decorate the house, trim the tree, plan parties and meals, grocery shop, prepare the guest rooms, donate to charities, cook, bake, and make everyone happy.
A few of us might give a fleeting thought or two to those who are less fortunate, but let’s be honest, very few of us actually go out of our way to help those in need — especially after the holidays are over. “Want” does not end once the ornaments are packed away — it is a reality for some 365 days a year, but there is a place in Temple that is trying to alleviate that burden if only for a few hours at a time.
Feed My Sheep is located at 116 West Ave. G, and it is a “Christ-centered, Temple-based, volunteer-driven nonprofit organization formed to provide nourishment and basic human needs to the homeless and needy people of Bell County.”
If you have heard of the organization, then you are probably most familiar with their Shepherd’s Café program where they provide hot meals daily to those in need. Feed My Sheep is so much more than physical nourishment. I learned firsthand all that they can offer during a visit right before the Thanksgiving holiday.
I arrived just after the lunch hour, and was introduced to Ellen Romans. She supervises The Well, a day center for women located in a small remodeled house next to the Shepherd’s Café.
Ellen was excited to give me a tour. There is a small living room area where the ladies relax and watch TV and movies, listen to music, or dabble in coloring/painting books. The room is decorated simply — a small Thankful Tree is one of the focal points. Cards adorn the little tree, each stating a note of thanks. The tree will also double as a Christmas tree once the ladies add ornaments.
The office is just off the living room, and that is where Bible studies take place. A lady also volunteers her time to teach sewing — as evidenced by several sewing machines that had been quietly tucked away. On the day I visited, the office was being used to sort various winter clothing items that had just been donated by First Methodist Church.
Ellen emphasized that they do try and keep a small supply of casual clothes on hand, but she was most proud of a new project that is a work in progress. It is a simple closet, but it stores nicer, dressier clothes. Ellen said they were recently able to give a dress to one of the ladies whose sister had died — she wanted to wear something nice to the funeral.
In the back of the house are washers, driers, showers, commodes, a tub, towels, wash cloths and various sharable and personal toiletries: lotion, razors, hairspray, underwear, socks, deodorant, etc. Volunteers do their best to give the ladies little luxuries — once a month or so women come in to give them haircuts or help with nails “to make them feel personable,” Ellen said.
There are a few lockers the ladies can use to keep their belongings safe.
“A lot of our clients are pretty much on the street or in a tent type city,” Ellen said.
Some of the women are transitioning between homes, and the lockers allow them to store items they can’t carry with them.
To be clear, The Well is not a shelter, but more of a place to get away from life on the streets for a few hours.
“Temple is actually lacking in women’s centers,” Ellen stated. “We used to have more, but we don’t have as much now. The only things we really have are for family domestic stuff or if there’s kids involved…We don’t really have a women’s shelter.”
Before the The Well house was remodeled, women and men used to have to share space in The Locker Room (the men’s counterpart to The Well). It was open two days a week for the women and two days a week for the men.
“It’s good they are separate,” Ellen emphasized. “It is a safe haven for women. The women can get off the street, have Bible study, have lunch together and they don’t have to be bothered. It’s peaceful. A lot of bad things happen on the streets.”
All volunteers respect the “no men” policy when The Well is open. In fact, when Casey Mooney, the Operations Manager of Feed My Sheep, walked me to The Well, he stopped short of going up the steps.
When I asked Ellen what their biggest need was, she didn’t hesitate. “I think we need more counseling. They have Triage every other third Tuesday and different counselors that come from different agencies.”
She went on to emphasize that many of the women have lots of problems — some are on medication, others medicate through street drugs. A retired nurse, Ellen stated that it is not always easy and explained that some people never get off the street.
“It’s comfortable to them, and they’ve already gone through so much and they don’t want to deal with stuff,” she said. “Others definitely want to transition.”
Ellen continued: “If they want more help, we can give it to them. The main thing is keeping peace and we try to create a homelike peaceful atmosphere.”
After my visit with Ellen, Casey and I talked for a few minutes in the Resource Center. He stressed how much they needed volunteers, and went on to relay what he learned from watching a TED talk that changed his outlook.
“Organizations have to start with Why,” he said. “It’s not what you do that matters, it’s why you do things, and the reason Feed My Sheep exists is because we love the people. We believe they have value given to them by God, and so why we do it is the most important thing. When people come and volunteer, we need them to understand that the people are the first thing.”
Casey said The Well is only open a few days a week, “and it’s often the only interaction they get from outside their circle. They need help, and they need to feel safe and loved whenever they come here. Same thing for men — everyone wants to think that men don’t need that but they need to know that they are cared about.”
Anyone 18 or older can volunteer, and a new website design makes signing up even easier. Casey said they like volunteers to come to the organization first to make sure it’s a good fit for them. The café is the most staffed, but the Resource Center and The Well are in dire need of volunteers.
The Resource Center helps people set up appointments and assists in filling out utility and rental applications, job applications — even just helping to make copies goes a long way.
If it wasn’t for a shortage of volunteers, The Well could be open more days or longer hours.
“A lot of people know about us,” Casey said. “I think if people could see what we do from day to day, they would get more involved.”
Upstairs from the Resource Center, there is an education center and a library. Casey hopes to get budgeting classes started again — the classes were discontinued because of COVID — as well as anger management classes and more Bible studies.
Casey said the mission of Feed My Sheep is to feed people physically, spiritually and emotionally. He emphasized that they would never do away with feeding people because that is the most essential need, but he wanted to remind people of the story of Nehemiah where people with different talents and backgrounds were coming together to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
“They were coming to do one mission,” Casey said, “and that’s kind of what we would like from the community. We can feed them but it doesn’t help everything — it’s not transformation. We want real life transformation.”
The Well, a day center for women located next to the Shepherd’s Café on Avenue G. The facility is for women only and men are not allowed to enter the building.
Here’s a rendering of the recycling transfer facility and maintenance building at soon-to-be-built Temple Solid Waster Complex.
Work to begin on solid waste complex
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
The city of Temple will break ground on a new $11.3 million solid waste complex in January and the new facility likely will be operational by March 2023, according to city spokesperson Kiara Nowlin.
The project was approved last week by Temple City Council.
The 14.5 acre site, located at 2611 E. Ave H behind C&G fueling station, will consolidate operations from six locations to a single complex for dealing with the city’s trash and recyclables.
“The complex will include a 5,500-square-foot administration building, a 32,240-square-foot recycling transfer facility and maintenance building, a paint booth and truck wash bay, brush storage, the fueling station, and a truck and container storage area,” she said. “This new complex will consolidate operations from six locations into one place.”
According to Nowlin, the original budget for the project was $8 million, but escalating construction costs resulted in the revised figure.
The city processes about 455 tons of recycling every month from Temple and surrounding communities, and the solid waste department employs 66 employees and operates 49 collection trucks, Nowlin said.
Materials processed include aluminum and steel cans, food packaging, junk mail, magazines, corrugated boxes, newspapers, office paper, plastic beverage containers and phone books. These materials are compressed for transportation to a facility in Austin.
Houston-based Spawglass is the construction manager-at-risk for the recycling complex project and also is building Temple’s two downtown parking garages.
Temple parade, tree lighting tonight
Temple will host its Christmas tree lighting and 75th annual Christmas Parade on tonight beginning at 6:15 p.m. The theme of this year’s event is “The Magic of a Traditional Christmas.”
The parade will feature more than 75 entries from local community groups.
WHAT: Christmas Tree Lighting and 75th Annual Christmas Parade
WHEN: The event will take place today. The tree lighting will begin at 6:15 p.m., and the Christmas Parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. Event staff anticipate the parade to last about one-and-a-half hours.
WHERE: The tree lighting will take place in the City Hall municipal parking lot (2 N. Main St.). The parade route begins at the intersection of East Adams Avenue and ends at Temple High School.
“The tree lighting and Christmas Parade are a city of Temple tradition, and we are thrilled they are returning to a ‘normal’ format,” said Kevin Beavers, Parks & Recreation director. “This event brings the community, friends and families together to celebrate.”
Mayor Tim Davis will light the Christmas tree and holidays decorations. The grand marshal of the parade is Dr. Sonjanette Crossley. Crossley is on the Economic Development Corporation and Temple Reinvestment Zone board of directors.
The 1.4-mile parade route starts at the intersection of East Adams Avenue and North Eighth Street. The route proceeds west along Adams to North 23rd Street. The route turns north, ending at Temple High School.
Parking will be available in several public parking lots along Adams Avenue and side streets in downtown Temple. The City Hall parking lot will also be open for handicap parking and have a limited amount of general parking.
Roads closures are scheduled for the event. Sixth and 8th streets will close at 4 p.m., and Adams will close at 5:45 p.m. All roads will reopen immediately following the parade. Detours will be implemented in the area, and access will be maintained for residents and businesses.
WHAT’S HAPPENING, CENTRAL TEXAS?
ATTENTION NIGHT SPOT OWNERS: Our Town Temple has started a separate category for New Year’s Eve parties, dances, concerts. Please send your event via email to OurTownTemple@gmail.com. Please include prices and everything that’s covered.
Central Texas largest and most complete calendar of event:
Temple Public Library
TEEN CRAFT CORNER: Every 4th Monday at 5 p.m. Join us for Teen Craft Corner! Take a break from the stresses of school and life, and create something fun during our monthly craft program! Our crafts will include projects such as string art, painting, learning about artists and their techniques, mixed media, and so much more! All supplies provided. (254) 298-5557
GREAT BOOKS ADULT BOOK CLUB: 2nd and 4th Mondays at 6 p.m. Seminal texts of Western civilization, pre-20th century philosophers, scientists and novelists. Readings span from Homer and Plato to Nietzsche and Freud. (254) 298-5557
BABY BOOKWORMS (Ages 0-12 months: Every Tuesday at 11 a.m. A half-hour of book sharing, rhymes, songs, exercises and parachute play. (254) 298-5557
SCHOOL-AGE STORY TIME (K-3rd Grade): Every Wednesday at 4:15 p.m. A half-hour of short films, stories and constructive play. (254) 298-5557
PRESCHOOL STORY TIME (Ages 3-5): Songs, stories, and a variety of literacy activities. (254) 298-5557
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS (Ages 12-18): First Thursday of the month at 5 p.m. Looking to explore the world of D&D but not sure where to start? Join us at the Library for our Beginners Dungeons & Dragons Program!
Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum
FACING THE INFERNO: THE WILDFIRE PHOTOGRAPHY OF KARI GREER: Colorful, intimate, and intensely dramatic images that capture the work of wildland firefighters in this new exhibit that runs through Jan. 15. Amazing photography. First responders and immediate family will be admitted free through Dec. 3.
COMING NEXT MONTH! ALIENTO a TEQUILA: This exhibit explores and celebrates the landscape, culture, and traditions that gave birth to tequila. A series of photographs by Joel Salcido include the original distilleries that founded the industry, as well as several artisanal tequilerías committed to the ancestral ways of tequila-making, from harvest to bottle. Jan. 28-March 16
New Year’s Eve celebrations
O’Briens Irish Pub with the Jason Custer Band. 10 p.m.
Bo’s Barn Dancehall Craig Howell & Somewhere in Texas will hit the stage at 9 p.m. $25 per person to include Cover, Party Favors, Champagne, Breakfast and Black Eyed Peas!!! 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Corky’s Wine Bar. The most happening New Years Eve party in Central Texas! Tickets are only $35! Included in the price you get a midnight champagne toast, party favors, a souvenir glass, breakfast food after the ball drops and your live music and dancing for the evening! Attire is semi-formal.
December 6, Monday - The 75th Annual Christmas Parade and City Christmas Tree Lighting will begin at 6:15 p.m. This year's theme is “The Magic of a Traditional Christmas." Details will be made available on templeparks.com.
December 6, Monday — Belton Lake Parade of Lights at Dead Fish Grill. Watch boats on the lake decked with Christmas lights. Hot chocolate and chocolate bombs filled with marshmallows. 6 to 9 p.m.
December 7, Tuesday — Baby Bookworms ages 0 to 12 months at Temple Public Library. 11 to 11:30 a.m.
December 7, Tuesday — Tarok Card Party and Lessons at Czech Heritage Museum & Genealogy Center. We play for fun! Come learn to play Taroks, the 1400s European card game Czech brought to Texas in the 1800s. It’s just as popular today and tournaments are held all over Texas. Jimmy and Carolyn Coufal are award-winning tournament champions who teach and advise us purely for the love of the game. No fees or admissions. Just come join us! 7 to 9 p.m.
December 9, Thursday - Taproom Trivia at Fire Base Brewing Co. 7 p.m.
December 10, Friday - TISD Jazz Band – Merry Christmas and All That Jazz at Meridith-Dunbar Early Childhood Academy Auditorium, 5:30 p.m.
December 10, Friday — Vista’s Jingle Jam 2021 at Vista Community Church. Join us for the most fun, biggest, Christmas party of the year for your whole family. We'll play games, sing Christmas songs, have Christmas cookies and cocoa, and hear the Christmas story in a way kids can understand. And it is totally FREE! We’ll have a Jingle Jam session at 5:30pm and 7pm.
December 10, Friday - Nick Sterling & The Nomads, plus Ethan Smith at O’Brien’s Irish Pub.
December 10, Friday —Branded Heart at Bo’s Barn. 8 p.m.
December 10-12 — Disney’s Aladdin Jr. at Temple Civic Theatre.
December 10-12, The Texas Nutcracker, performed by Classical Ballet Conservatory of Lisa's Dance Connection, performance at the Cultural Activities Center.
December 10, Friday - Dinosaurs in December at Gober Party House. Children will enjoy learning exciting new things about dinosaurs and science. Make dino-mite crafts, foils and play some fun dinosaur games. The cost is $7 per person and you must preregister at https://bit.ly/3D6q2J9
December 11, Saturday - Holiday Bazaar at Holy Trinity Catholic High School, 6608 W. Adams Ave. in Temple. Photos with Santa, Santa’s Workshop, food, perfect last-minute gifts. Vendor spots still available. www.holytrinity.com. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
December 11, Saturday - Photos with Santa at Horny Toad Harley-Davidson. Bring your own camera or smartphone and get Free photos with Santa! Limited 3-photos per group.11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
December 11, Saturday - Proctor Victory Garden's Mobile Mercantile full of artisanal pickles & pepper jellies will be at Barrow Brewing Company’s Christmas Market during The Salado Stroll. Drop by 108 Royal Street in Salado to sample our briney faire! Noon to 7 p.m.
December 11, Saturday — Winter Wonderland at Wilson Park Recreation Center. Santa’s coming to visit all the good little boys and girls at the Wilson Park Recreation Center. 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Join us for cookies, hot cocoa, gifts, and pictures during this special family event.The event is FREE; however, registration is required. Register today here: https://bit.ly/3CZEKBV.
December 11, Saturday — Downtown Temple Holiday Market & Food Truck Frenzy. Its Holiday Season! We are excited to partner our market series with another Food Truck Event! Come join us in Downtown Temple and spread some holiday joy by supporting local businesses in our area!We will have plenty of vendors, food trucks to satisfy anyone's cravings, live music and activities for kids! Come find that perfect gift for your loved ones - whether it be a new piece of jewelry, some unique bath products, or a fun knickknack. 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
December 11, Saturday - 5th annual Holiday Extravaganza at the Troy Community Center. Shop with local small businesses. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
December 11, Saturday - Tucka Texas Takeover with LJ Echols, Fat Daddy and Mr. Smoke. VFW Post 1820, Temple. 7 p.m.
December 11, Saturday — 35 South at Bo’s Barn. 9 p.m.
December 11, Saturday - Holiday Laser Light Show at Barrow Brewing Co. in Salado. Part of the 61st annual Salado Christmas Stroll. 7 p.m.
December 11, Saturday - Name That Tune Bingo Retro Party at Fire Base Brewing Co., 7:30 p.m.
December 11, Saturday - 4 Band Show at O’Briens Irish Pub, including Stillhouse Howlers, Fvrorem, Burn Ban and SHFUX. 9 p.m. to midnight. Old-time tunes and punk rock.
December 12, Sunday - Temple High School Band Winter Concert in the THS Auditorium, 2:00 p.m.
December 13, Monday - Temple High School Orchestra Christmas Concert at THS Auditorium, 7 p.m.
December 14, Tuesday - Temple High School Choir Holiday Gift at THS Auditorium. 7:30 p.m.
December 14, Thursday - Czech Film Night at The Beltonian. With Czech beer and great food. The beer is imported from Ceske Budejovice in the Czech Republic and it is a medieval brewery dating back to 1265.
December 16, Thursday - Taproom Trivia at Fire Base Brewing Co., 7-9 p.m.
December 17, Friday - Matt Cearley & The Rowdy Few, O’Briens. 9 p.m.
December 17, Friday — Hyway Traveler at Bo’s Barn. 8 p.m.
December 17, Friday — “It’s a Wonderful Life” at The Beltonian Theatre. 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
December 18, Saturday — “It’s a Wonderful Life” at The Beltonian Theatre. 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
December 18, Saturday — The Real Gun Show at Bell County Expo Assembly Hall. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
December 18, Saturday - Game Show Night by Texas Red at Fire Base Brewing Co., 7-9 p.m.
December 18, Saturday — Lilly & The Implements at O’Briens Irish Pub…GREAT BAND ALERT! 9 p.m.
December 19, Sunday — The Real Gun Show at Bell County Expo Assembly Hall, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
December 19, Sunday – When Harry Met Sally… (1989), free movie at Cultural Activities Center. Boy meets girl, boy sees other girls, and girl sees other boys. Maybe boy and girl should have seen each other. “I’ll have what she’s having.” The event will include a pre and post-movie discussion with Dr. Joseph Taberlet. 2 p.m.
December 18, Saturday - Shinyribs, Cultural Activities Center, 7:30 p.m.
December 18, Saturday — People’s Choice at Bo’s Barn. 9 p.m.
December 23, Thursday - Santa & Elvis at Fire Street Pizza. 6-9 p.m.
December 25, Saturday — Christmas Dance at Bo’s Barn featuring Secondhand Rose, 8 p.m.
December 20-25: “The Polar Express” at The Beltonian Theatre. Visit https://TheBeltonianTheatre.com/Movies for show times.
December 31 - January 1 - Texas Elite Pole Vaulting. The Expo Explosion, the second largest indoor pole vaulting event in the country. Bell County Expo Center’s Garth Arena.
January 7, Friday - On the first Friday of every month, historic downtown Temple transforms into a giant party. Enjoy street music and performances, drinks, food, and after-hours shopping.
January 8, Saturday - Cabin Fever: Stargazing Family Dat at Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum. Learn about constellations, meteor showers and other celestial objects while checking out the night sky.
January 15, Saturday - Game Show Night by Texas Red at Fire Base Brewing Co. We have the night for you! 4 rounds of the game show questions and prize-winning for all! Free to play and Family Friendly! Who will walk away with the evening's Oscar? Play as a team or individual. Win free drinks and other prizes! 7-9 p.m.
January 29, Saturday - Parker McCollum Red Dirt Mardi Gras at Bell County Expo. 8 p.m.
February 4, Friday - On the first Friday of every month, historic downtown Temple transforms into a giant party. Enjoy street music and performances, drinks, food, and after-hours shopping.
February 5, Saturday - Geek Out Family Day at Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum. Want to show off your geeky side? Come out to the museum for Geek Out Family Day. Dress up as your favorite superhero, cartoon, or video game character. Enjoy the nerdier side of life.
LIST YOUR EVENT! Email info to OurTownTemple@gmail.com with “What’s Happening” in the subject line. Keep it short and sweet — what, when and where. You may include a short description. You must include a phone number for verification purposes. The phone number will not be published unless requested by submitter.