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San Antonio homeless get helping hand

Volunteers donate clothes, blankets, hot coffee to homeless on a frigid night

SAN ANTONIO - Christmas is over but the season of giving continues for some.


With temperatures expected to dip below freezing again Wednesday night, a handful of San Antonians gathered near the Haven for Hope campus to help out the local homeless population by giving them a hot drink and some warm clothes and blankets.

Jaalah Benjamin Barns has been on the streets since mid-July. He said he tried to stay at Haven for Hope but it didn't work out, leaving him to find shelter under a bridge instead.

He picked up a new blanket and some clothes from the back of two SUV's that had pulled up in a vacant parking lot.

"I would probably freeze without this nice new blanket that I got," Barns said. "It’s people like this who help us out who help us survive the winter."

While Haven for Hope opened additional space to accommodate more people on a frigid night, many of the people flocking to the SUV's for donations said they weren't getting any help from the shelter or had negative experiences in the past that forced them to find somewhere else to go.

"Some of us stay under the bridge and we're not depending on nobody else but these people help us out with food, keep us warm with blankets and coats," said William Morales.

Joseph Spencer and some friends started a group called Project One Random Act of Kindness A Day to give back to those who need some help.

Spencer said he feels like his group is filling in a gap that exits in the system to help the local homeless who are not being served by Haven for Hope.

"The individuals that are out here they get left behind because there is no room, or it's just too noisy in there for them to sleep so they'd rather be out here where it's quiet so we try to cover them up and feed them," Spencer said.

While Spencer has only been helping the homeless for about a month he and his helpers plan to keep offering a helping hand well beyond the holidays.

"As long as people keep donating to us we'll keep on coming down here," Spencer said.

For a list of recent stories Tim Gerber has done, click here.


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