Salvation Army opening warming shelter in Texarkana ahead of sub-freezing temps
TEXARKANA, Texas (KSLA) - The Salvation Army in Texarkana is doing what it can to prepare for several days of sub-freezing temps in east Texas.
The shelter in Texarkana, located at 400 E 4th St., is always open to men, women, and families in need of shelter, officials say.
“On freezing cold days like we are forecast later this week, we make arrangements for our building to be open and available during the day as a warming station so that people can come in off the streets and get warm,” said Sann Terry with the Salvation Army. “They don’t need to register to stay the night and there is no charge for any services at the Salvation Army. We just want those in need to be safe during this cold snap and for them to know that the Salvation Army is here for them.”
Salvation Army officials are also making plans to house more overnight guests since the weather will be particularly cold.
“It is inevitable that more people will come to us for assistance this week, especially seeking overnight shelter from the bitter cold,” said Terry. “We make 20 emergency beds available in our shelter during inclement weather, in addition to the 65 beds available year-round, and will do our best to make sure everyone has a warm place to sleep. We currently have 65 people staying in our shelter, including men, women, and families.”
The organization calls the warming station the Center of Hope. Commanding Officer Captain Juan Gomez says their doors will remain open past regular hours.
Gomez says this service is open to anyone who needs a warm place, not just those without a home.
“Right now we actually have two families who are coming in who will be staying in some of our family rooms who have a place, but they have no heating in their homes,” he said.
Lisa Shatswell says she lives out of her van, but over the next few days she plans to spend time at the center.
“It is so cold, like you can freeze to death out here it is that cold.”
Gomez says others can help with financial donations and volunteering at the Center of Hope. He said they are working in conjunction with other charity groups across the Texarkana area.
Meanwhile, the Salvation Army also continues to raise money with its annual Red Kettle Campaign, which ends on Christmas Eve.
“The practical, financial support of our community makes it possible for us to help those in need every day of the year, not just at Christmas,” said Terry. “Your support means that the Salvation Army is there to keep the lights on for a family struggling to pay the bills, we can provide a hot meal and cup of coffee to a first responder working during times of disaster, and we can provide a warm, safe place for someone experiencing homelessness when temperatures drop below freezing.”
To donate to the Salvation Army, or for more information about the shelter, call 870-774-2701, or visit the Salvation Army’s Facebook page.
Copyright 2022 KSLA. All rights reserved.