Churches open up winter shelter for homeless during cold nights

Life Restored Church and Church Under the Bridge team up

By Garrett Brnger - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Two churches are teaming up to help give the city's homeless somewhere to stay during Saturday and Sunday nights' cold weather.

Life Restored Church has been running "winter shelters" on very cold nights for three years, said pastor Alex Fleming. However, the church's space is limited, so it has teamed up with Church Under the Bridge this weekend to accomodate more people - about 90 instead of 40.

The winter shelter set up Saturday was not much more than dozens of sleeping bags laid out in a large room, along with a kitchen, but it meant a hot meal and a warm place to spend the night for those who lined up to get a ticket.

"Because it's cold out tonight, and I don't want to be on the streets and everything," said Adrian Harold.

Since the emergency shelters can fill, Fleming said the winter shelters are needed.

"The demand is more than what we have, you know  what I mean, to hold them," Fleming said.

Fleming said the people who come would stay overnight, and have to leave on Sunday, but could come back for Sunday night, which is also expected to be cold.

It's Church Under the Bridge's first time hosting an overnight shelter, though it has plenty of experience helping the homeless.

"We have church services three nights a week, and then we feed anywehere form 150 to 225 three nights a week," said Director Dianne Talbert.

Fleming's plan is that next time there's a freezing cold night after this weekend, both locations could open their doors.

"And that's the vision. To have churches and ministries, everyone open up the door and 40 here, 100 here, this that, and where we could maximize - and be a relevant church, not just 'hey come to our worship service and whoopty-doo,' you know what I mean? Like, no let's really make a difference, man, in our city," Fleming said.

Copyright 2019 by KSAT - All rights reserved.