As Texas braces itself for the coldest weather to hit the State in twenty years The Salvation Army is ready to provide assistance and shelter.
Salvation Army shelters will remain open 24 hours a day and are ready with extra cots, air mattresses and blankets to accommodate extra demand for beds. In addition to the shelters, Salvation Army church buildings are also being used as “warming centers” and overflow housing for the homeless and stranded travelers. It is anticipated that The Salvation Army in Texas will provide shelter to more than 2,000 individuals nightly as the temperatures are expected to drop well below 32 degrees on Thursday and Friday evening this week. No-one will be turned away from Salvation Army facilities as long as the temperature remains below freezing.
The Salvation Army have over forty Mobile Feeding Units across the State ready to be deployed specifically targeting areas known for homelessness, fully stocked with hot food and drinks. In some cases these units will also have blankets, socks, hats and gloves available for those in need.
Donations of blankets, coats and heaters are needed and local Salvation Army units will be prepared to accept such items.
North and East Texas was hit by winter storms and tornados on Wednesday evening, December 23. In Lufkin, TX, The Salvation Army supplied meals on Christmas Eve to 60 individuals and made plans to provide gifts on Christmas Day to children housed in the Southside Baptist shelter. 258 homes were damaged and 58 homes destroyed when a tornado struck the city. About 3,500 homes and businesses were without power after 30 utility poles toppled in the storm.
Salvation Army mobile feeding kitchens from Tyler and Longview were deployed on Wednesday evening. Longview reported tornado damage to 4 homes and many more commercial buildings.
The small city of Burkburnett, near Wichita Falls, unexpectedly received 8 inches of snow in a matter of hours. Local residents were cut off by the snow and The Salvation Army responded by arranging a charge account for meals with a local grocery store.
The Salvation Army continues to work closely with DPS authorities across the Panhandle as they assist with stranded drivers in the winter weather.