LUBBOCK, Texas – As temperatures across the South Plains reach dangerously cold extremes, many seek refuge at local homeless shelters.
Erica Hitt, Social Services Director for the Salvation Army, said they had prepared for the upcoming weather event but that they have still been busy.
“It’s been insane. We are taking people in left and right,” said Hitt, “Last night we took 46 individuals and gave them a cold cot, 13 dogs [and] one cat.”
Antoine Paris, his wife Rachel Wasson and their two dogs checked into Salvation Army this Sunday around 3 p.m. They said they were living in a hotel scraping to get by.
“For the last few days we’ve been on our legs, spending money pawning stuff that we didn’t want to pawn and it was a hassle on our part,” said Paris.
Wasson said since the death of her father two months ago, the couple has had a difficult time finding a place to stay because of high rent.
Hitt said the Salvation Army’s Cold Patrol was out at night taking people blankets, food and making sure they had a warm place to protect them from the cold.
“We have had some elderly individuals that did not have heat or adequate heating and called us saying they were going to freeze to death,” said Hitt, “So obviously we have acted on that as well and we brought them into the shelter.”
Hitt said her team has also been taking water to people who have experienced busted pipes. She said they’re trying to help as many people as possible.
“It’s not over and that’s kind of our fear right now. We know there are still individuals out there trying to wait out this cold spell,” she said, “We are trying to get everyone into the shelter.”