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A promise for Dawson's families in need

A woman standing at the podium addressing the Dawson County Board of Commissioners Thursday spoke softly but carried a big message.

She was Donna Weaver, president of Family Promise of Dawson County, who said 50 percent of all homeless people in the United States are children under 5. Unfortunately, Dawson County has a high proportion of them.

So she and a group of local churches plan to do something about it.

"In Dawson County, there are between 140 and 160 documented cases of homeless children in our school system," Weaver said. "'Our goal is for children to have a warm bed. When I taught, I knew that children cannot learn like everyone else when they're thinking about, 'where am I going to sleep, and what food am I going to eat today?' Learning is not the same for them."

Weaver is in the midst of fundraising to open the doors of Family Promise in Dawson County by September. The goal is to get 13 churches lined up to provide shelter and food for three needy families on a temporary basis. Each church would host the families four times per year.

In other county business, the commission approved:

Dawson County EMS's request to file a SAFER grant application for $1.1 million to hire nine new firefighters.

Credit card services for county departments from Govolution for a fee of 2.5 percent.