AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The harsh winter conditions expected soon will affect everyone in some way, but for the homeless it can be a matter of survival.
Fortunately we have organizations and people in place to handle such extreme events.
Well the weather like we’ve been having just makes you thankful to have a roof over your head.
Unfortunately, some people don’t have that roof. For many in our area cold weather is more than just an inconvenience for those without shelter the weather can become life threatening, especially with the severe conditions, we expect to face over the next several days.
Fortunately organizations are ready to lend a life saving hand.
”Well, when the elements are hard outside, Salvation Army has our doors open, they’re open anyway but whenever it’s cold especially like we’re gonna have this weekend there especially open so people come right in. At 430 check in, in a hot shower get a hot meal and have a place to stay and get out of the elements,” said Quintin Marquez “For weekends like this, we have 250 spots available for any resident that needs a place to stay, just come right in, and we’re ready to feed you or at the to keep you out of the outdoors.”
For various reasons, not everyone turns to the most visible shelter organizations for assistance. That’s where the Code Blue warming station steps in.
“The Code Blue Warming station operates, when we have extreme winter weather in our area. We welcome the unsheltered homeless, to come in. There’s a lot of them that won’t utilize the traditional shelters, so we open our doors at 7pm and are open until 7:30am, we have food available for them,” said Ginny Trice “We do provide pillows and blankets if they do want to try to get some rest, but we’re just a warming station we’re not a shelter. So we don’t provide beds or cots.”
The center even sends out teams to pick up those vulnerable to the elements.
“We do have volunteer mobile teams that will go pick people up out of the community. So, if any community members see people out in the weather they can text, our office line. That’s 806-4142-2243, and we will send a team out to go see if they want to come inside,” said Ginny.
With perhaps the most brutally cold weather in years approaching the center is gearing up to accommodate as many as possible.
“Last night we had 80 different people come in throughout the night, I think our highest hourly count was about 58 individuals in the building at one time. We expect the numbers will just continue to increase because as people find out that we’re here,” said Ginny “This is going to be a long long series of nights where without us having a break, we have the Facebook fundraisers that are active and people can contribute online if they want to do a monetary donation. We also have a PayPal me account.”
“I’ve met so many great people and I don’t know I just really like giving back and like helping everybody out. I just like seeing the looks on their faces and how even when they leave in the morning thank you guys so much for being here,” said Shannon Jones “We really appreciate it.”
The bad news is that we’re facing some of the coldest weather we’ve had in years.
The good news is that we have resources and people available to help the homeless survive those elements.