LUBBBOCK Texas — Homeless shelters like Open Door said they are seeing an increase in demand for their services amid the winter storm.
Andrea Omojola, Chief Operations Officer at Open Door, said Open Door’s facility has reached capacity several times these past few days and staff has been working diligently to help people find resources.
“Whenever we see this kind of epic weather happen in our area, it really means that we have to step up the work that we do,” said Omojola. “So that means extended hours, that means partnering even more with the people we partner with around this community.”
Omojola said even though their facilities are not open all day, they try to help people find a warm place to stay like the Salvation Army.
Gorge Kopta said he has been homeless for two months. He said he traveled to Lubbock from El Paso and that the snow and cold temperatures caught him by surprise.
“[I was worried about] where [my] next meal is coming from and when [I was] going to get out of the weather,” said Kopta.
Kopta said he has been staying at Open Door during the day and going to Salvation Army at night and said he’s grateful he’s able to seek refuge from the storm.
“Good thing that there’s places like Open Door, they’re awesome people,” he said.
Omojola said despite the weather, she’s seen camaraderie and a calm from people using their services.
“Continue to think about our friends on the streets and help in the ways that you can,” said Omojola. “Whatever that is, if it’s just saying a prayer tonight we really really, really appreciate that.”
Open Door is accepting donations such as gloves, hats and and scarfs.