Marshall, Texas, shelter reopens to help people escape the bitter cold

Temporary reopening comes despite code violations
Published: Dec. 22, 2022 at 10:20 PM CST
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MARSHALL, Texas (KSLA) — This cold is bringing many homeless indoors.

With some shelters at capacity, it caused one East Texas shelter to temporarily reopen — even after code violations.

While they work out its future with the city, everyone realized the need is great right now.

“Right now, we have about six or seven people that have called at about 9:30 this morning,” Tracy Andrus said the morning of Thursday, Dec. 22

He told KSLA News 12 that the list is filling up for warm sheltering over the wind-chilled holiday weekend.

His Tracy Andrus Foundation Emergency Shelter had been closed since Dec. 9 with the city telling Andrus that the facility was not up to code.

“The city of Marshall received Community Development Block Grant funds. With those funds, the city has already awarded the Tracy Andrus Foundation with $30,000 that we have not received yet.”

Andrus told KSLA News 12 that they previously planned on dispersing the money for help outside the shelter.

“That money was supposed to be use for weatherization, to help people build ramps, to help put in new windows and doors for folks or even to paint a house.”

But Andrus has been in contact with the city negotiating with them and providing them with what he thinks is obviously a better idea.

“Because of the impact and the vital importance of the Tracy Andrus Foundation Emergency Shelter, I think it would be most beneficial to use the $30,000 that has been earmarked for community development to upgrade the shelter which can be used to house 18 to 20 people.”

Andrus told KSLA News 12 that the only shelter in Marshall is his organization’s and that he’ll help keep people safe whether the city approves him to or not.

“This is a polar vortex. It’s about to get real cold. We have the shelter here and I don’t see why we shouldn’t be able to help people that are in need.”

A hot meal, gifts for kids and a warm bed to sleep in are a few things that Andrus and his nonprofit are providing to people in Marshall.

Volunteers told KSLA News 12 that Andrus will do anything to keep people safe.

“He will break his neck for you. He will give his last. I have seen him just ... I’m, I’m, I’m, I mean whatever that you need. He will give it to you, as long as you use it right.”

Clyde Holt told KSLA News 12 that Andrus helped him turn his life around when they first met and that he will do anything he can to help now that he works with him.