LUBBOCK, Texas — The cold weather has hit the Hub City in full force, and for folks like Erica Hitt-Perry, Social Services Director at the Lubbock Salvation Army, that means her busiest season has arrived too. Hitt-Perry said her organization has already been doing its part to keep the community safe and out of the cold, starting with their cold cot nights. 

“When the temperature is 32 degrees or below by midnight, we open up our doors to anyone in need to get out of the elements off the streets for the night,” said Hitt-Perry. “They’ll have breakfast the next morning and then we just wait. If it’s going to be another cold night, obviously we’re going to do it every time it freezes.”

Along with cold cot nights and providing warm meals to those who need it most, the Salvation Army also gives folks clothes to keep them bundled up if they’re out in the cold.

“When we do not have cold cot night, we want to give the public the necessary means that they can stay warm,” said Hitt-Perry. “That includes the hand warmers, jackets, gloves, beanies, sleeping bags, things of that nature, blankets. We are really low on all of those items.”

If you’re cleaning out the closets to make room for winter storage, Hitt-Perry said the Salvation Army’s doors at their Social Services Building are always open for donations. 

“We are asking for the community’s help in those donations,” said Hitt-Perry. “They do not have to be new. You know, we will wash and prepare and get them ready.”

Preparing for the holidays, having cold cot nights and running with a nearly full house can be a lot, but Hitt-Perry said its goal in the winter remains the same.

“We do not want to see anyone else that loses their life on the streets, that’s the worst thing, so we’re going to do everything that we can to prevent it,” said Hitt-Perry.