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Eat for a cause

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

 The barbeque pits started rolling in before nightfall.  Volunteers set them up one by one in preparation of an overnight mission to smoke 1000 pounds of meat.

The peppery scent of seasoned ribs, brisket and sausage filled the air outside the Cottonwood Bar and Grill located at 3422 North Shepherd in Houston, even though the meat hadn't hit the grill.

 This cookout is about more than just eating. 

 "Their main goal is to take homeless veterans and find housing for them," said Eric Rhine, spokesperson for Eat for a Cause.

And now anyone, with an appetite, can help the Houston Housing Authority and Eat For A Cause meet that goal.

Already on board? Austin- based pit master, John Mueller.  You may recognize Mueller from his appearance on the Travel Channel's 'No Reservations.'

 Mueller will be manning the smokers Friday night into Saturday morning.

"John Mueller said he wanted the profit from this event to go toward helping the homeless, and we thought homeless veterans made sense," Rhine said as volunteers got things in order.

 Tory Gunsolley, president and CEO of the Houston Housing Authority was among those volunteering.

"Just last week we did the 'point in time' count," Gunsolley said.  "We went out one night, went under bridges into encampments, places you drive by everyday, and there are homeless veterans and non veterans out there that literally have no place to live."

 Mueller's barbeque will be sold by the pound starting Saturday, February 9, 2013 at noon.  The proceeds will help homeless veterans settle into apartments, put food on their tables, and furniture in their bedrooms.  

Most of the veterans secured their apartments with vouchers from the Housing Authority, but even those are in demand.

"We opened the waiting list in the fall,"  Gunsolley said.  "Over 80,000 (people) applied in seven days.  Those (applicants) aren't all veterans, but for the veterans list there's a strong demand, and we could use more (vouchers)."

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