City Missions

City Missions

Connecting the housing challenged with much-needed support

By Jeremy Hallock

A nonprofit founded three years ago to provide socks for the homeless has quickly expanded to include planning a million-dollar facility.

City Missions Founder and Executive Director Cherie Privett, a Wylie longtime resident and employee of New Hope Christian Church, said “I just heard God tell me to start it.”

“I spend every day with God,” she said. “It’s not like I hear somebody on my shoulder. It’s really just the thoughts that happen in my head.”

Privett said she had been praying and listening to worship music the day she heard the message from God.

In her role at the church, Privett said she had helped provide socks, hygiene products and blankets to the homeless. 

Socks are one of the most needed items for homeless people, said Privett, and sometimes they wear socks for weeks at a time without washing them. Additionally, many homeless people develop foot injuries from walking all day long, sometimes without shoes.

In the nonprofit’s first year, Privett said she and her husband Kevin collected nearly 10,000 pairs of socks, mostly from Amazon wish lists and spreading the word on social media. The couple reside in a camper, and it quickly filled up with packages of socks arriving every day. They rented a storage unit and friends eventually let them house the packages in bedrooms and garages.

The Privetts distributed the socks to homeless people across the Metroplex, then they started having monthly events like “Rock the Socks” at Napoli’s Italian Restaurant in Wylie to gather socks, food and hygiene items.

“It’s a great cause,” said Gino Mulliqi, Napoli’s owner and Wylie City Council member. “It’s much needed and the way they run it as an integral part of our community is absolutely amazing. My doors are always open for them.”

City Missions has since added fundraising events like the RockOut Homelessness Vendor Fair in 2022, and the second annual RockOut Homelessness 5K and Fun Run event took place last month on Nov. 11. 

Privett and City Missions board members were included, along with other area nonprofits like the Wylie Community Christian Care Center and 5 Loaves Food Pantry, in Mayor Matthew Porter’s proclamation of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week at the regular council meeting on Nov. 14. 

But Privett wants to do more than hand out socks.

“Our desire is to have a building in the city of Plano,” she said, noting that Plano has a homeless population that ranges from 250 to 500.

Privett wants to open a City Missions Day Center that will provide the homeless with food, showers, laundry and ID services. She also wants to partner with other nonprofits to provide counseling and ultimately help the homeless find housing.

“To get people off the streets and into housing you have to help them have a mindset change,” Privett said. “If somebody has lived in a poverty mindset their whole life, that is very hard to come out of. And they have to have trust with people to come out of that. They have to have a community of people to love them.”

The struggle is real and it is something Privett is very familiar with. She said she grew up in a North Carolina “shack” with a partial dirt floor, nothing in the refrigerator and was “abused in every way possible.”

Twelve years ago, she was a working single mother living with her three sons in a single-wide trailer that had shoddy electric work and a collapsing floor. After the city deemed the trailer uninhabitable, Privett and her family were homeless until she ended up living in someone’s garage.

“I couldn’t afford an apartment or housing,” she said. “And assistance was hard to find.”

But why did Privett’s struggles make her want to help others instead of just looking after herself and her family?

“It’s just a God thing,” Privett said. “People get so stuck on their own circumstances but somebody else is in a worse position than you were ever in. And they need something that you have.”

Like socks, for example. City Missions has now given about 25,000 pairs to the homeless.

“So why not help people?” she asked. “My biggest growth in life has been helping people regardless of what my situation is.”

City Missions is now raising funds for the facility, which will cost over a million dollars. Privett admits that she is in the beginning stages of raising funds but “hopes to have a building” by the end of 2024. 

“I make really big goals and tend to achieve them pretty quickly,” she said. “I’m very tenacious when it comes to that kind of stuff.”

The nonprofit has partnered with a McKinney nonprofit, Streetside Showers, but Privett also wants City Missions to have its own mobile shower units throughout Collin County. 

Wylie has a homeless population that ranges from 10 to 20, Privett said, adding that Sachse has many people living in cars.

“The need for a building is in Plano,” Privett said. “But Wylie and Sachse should have mobile units that come in often, [not just] for showers, but also just to bring back their dignity. The homeless lose their dignity. They feel like they are unseen and unloved.”

Another mission of City Missions, Privett said, will be directing the homeless with HIV and AIDS to nonprofits and resources that can offer help.

“I have an uncle and a nephew who passed away from AIDS,” Privett said. “We have encountered several people on the streets who have HIV. Without medication, HIV is only going to turn into AIDS and it’s a horrific death. There is not enough knowledge of resources that can help.” 

And this is ultimately how Privett envisions the day center, as a resource center that may not provide all the services but knows where to direct those in need of free medical care, counseling, addiction treatment and housing.

During the holiday season, City Missions focused on gathering blankets, coats, hats, gloves and scarves for Collin County’s homeless population. Donations are accepted at New Hope Christian, Wylie Nutrition, Raider Nutrition and HOTWORX. 

City Missions partners with Streetside Showers every Saturday in Plano at the Assistance Center of Collin County at 900 18th Street from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. to provide showers, clothing and hygiene items to those in need.

To donate funds, access the Amazon wish list, or for more information, visit