San Antonians taking cold in stride

Salvation Army gears up for increased shelter traffic

SAN ANTONIO – With cold weather here and ready to stay, the Salvation Army prepared for increased traffic at its emergency family shelter on West Elmira Street.

Volunteers from Cornerstone Church grilled chicken and sausage for about 150 clients at the facility Thursday. Salvation Army officials said all the food was donated.

"On a cold day like this to have a full meal that really fills you up, that's just nice and warm, it's just perfect timing," said Brad Mayhar, with the Salvation Army.

But for customers looking for hot soup at the Chapala Jalisco Mexican restaurant near downtown, timing wasn't exactly on their side. All that was left was chicken soup. The restaurant's manager, Jesus Montes, said all 20 gallons of the popular tortilla soup were sold out.

"We start selling at 9 a.m. By 12 p.m. or 1 p.m. it's gone," said Montes.

While some took shelter from the cold, others like Houston resident Niesha Odems ventured out.

"Just sweater, leggings, boots, nice jacket. I like the wind, and it's not that cold yet," said Niesha Odems.

Odems and her husband, Ramon Odems, were at the Alamo and enjoying the cold weather. They, along with many others, said it's a nice change from the hot weather we've had in recent months.

"We actually like the cold weather, it's very nice. In Houston, it gets hot," said Ramon Odems.

"I feel good, it's nice and brisk. It's actually sort of fun," said Austin resident Ruth Fried.

The Salvation Army shelter lobby will remain open for people to sleep on the floor with blankets, mattresses and pillows. Breakfast will also be served in the morning for those who stay overnight. 

The Salvation Army is always in need of blankets and toiletries. If you would like to make a donation, just head to their facility at 515 W. Elmira St.