If you were to put a face to Denton’s homeless situation, for many, it would likely be Mary Wilson.
Many will know Wilson as “the Lady in the Tent” as for at least a year she pitched up her tent and lived in the empty lot across the street from the Rayzor Ranch Marketplace.
“It was home,” said Wilson looking at the now tentless lot Wednesday.
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Late last summer, Mary moved her tent from the Bonnie Brae Street lot for the last time, after an arrest for littering spurred several community members to check in on her and convince her to accept help.
“That was the hardest part,” she said, “taking help.”
Wilson said she’d lived on the streets of Denton for about a decade and at other times had been homeless throughout the Metroplex.
However she said now, getting medical help again and reconnected with her sister in Sanger, she is finally ready to get her life back together.
So Mary’s next step is finally getting a home, and the local charity The Road to Damascus wants to help.
Working with Wilson and her sister, they’re gathering volunteers, supplies, and skilled workers to help build her a tiny house on Mary’s sister’s land.
The home will only be about 20' by 20' but will have a kitchen, bathroom, loft, and be -- for the first time in a long time -- a place Mary can call home.
"It's going to be a stable place that I can actually call mine,” she said.
Leaders in Denton have had the city’s homeless situation in their sights for much of the year with calls community-wide to do more.
This week Mayor Chris Watts is hosting his annual food drive and Day of Concern for the Hungry next week to help address some of those problems.
To learn more about Wilson’s journey or to find out how to help, check out The Road to Damascus on Facebook.