LUBBOCK, Texas — In these freezing temperatures without a coat or heat, the weather can be deadly, something several people in Lubbock’s homeless population have to face.
At Open Door, they are trying to change that by handing out sleeping bags to Lubbock’s homeless.
For Renea Anne Smith, this is not the first winter where she has had to sleep on the streets.
“You get adapted to it,” said Smith.
But with the freezing temperatures and icy roads, being outside this time of year can become unbearable quickly.
“I bundle up and get blankets and hoodies and gloves and jackets and just try and stay warm,” said Smith.
That is why Open Door is handing out over 80 zero degree sleeping bags to those sleeping on the streets right now.
“I think cold weather like this makes people aware of our neighbors in homelessness. The truth is homelessness is a crisis and difficult every night of the year, but when it’s cold like this, people are more aware of it,” said Executive Director of Open Door, Chad Wheeler.
Smith received her first sleeping bag this year and said it has made all the difference.
“I like that sleeping bag. I ain’t going to lose it. I ain’t going to sell it. I ain’t going to give it away. I’m going to keep it cause you never know when you are going to need one to stay warm,” said Smith.
But while the bags may help save some from freezing temperatures, Wheeler said Open Door does not plan to stop there.
“These will save lives, and they will save people’s lives this winter. We know it’s not the solution to homelessness. We want every person that we are giving a bag to have a home, but in the meantime, these will help us survive the winter,” said Wheeler.
Smith said when facing weather like this, it’s important to keep going.
“Don’t never give up cause I’m going to keep on going until I get somewhere,” said Smith.
Open door is not taking more sleeping bag donations but instead is asking for donations of shampoo, deodorant and other cosmetics.