Concerns Raised About Lubbock Homeless Staying Warm

This weekend's winter weather had many worried about Lubbock's homeless population. KLBK's Michaela MacDonald checked in with tent city.
By Michaela MacDonald

LUBBOCK, TX -- At Lubbock's Tent City, Link Ministries says the 61 residents have weathered the first winter storm of the season, thanks to army surplus tents and zero degree sleeping bags.

"A lot of people have been concerned, we've had a lot of calls about people concerned about the homeless out here," said Les Burrus, Executive Director at Link Ministries, an organization that works with the homeless at tent city.

Burrus says despite below freezing temperatures all weekend, their population was able to keep warm.

"We make sure that they are in zero degree sleeping bags and they have plenty of blankets in their tents and that they have it as warm as possible stocking caps, gloves, if they need them, but once they get in the tents and get in the sleeping bags most of them start kicking covers off after a few hours because it warms up," he said.

But keeping this vulnerable population warm is hard work.  Even now volunteers are collecting items they need.

"Our biggest needs right now are long underwear. We are sort of on the bottom end, we've got several groups working on that as we speak, but we still haven't got a lot of them in the storehouse yet. We can always use blankets and sleeping bags because we have people coming in and leaving and also just the homeless on the streets of Lubbock we try to provide sleeping bags for them as well," said Burrus.

There is another big challenge for this group.  Burrus says tent city has been at capacity for 2 to 3 months now.  He says besides the night time tents, their 61 residents have a warm day shelter to use. 

Burrus says when temps get below 15 degrees will sometimes they will open up a building for residents to sleep in, but many residents still say the tents are warm enough. He says keep an up to date list of needs on the Tent City Facebook Page. Donations can be dropped off at 1701 Avenue A.
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