Dozens find shelter from the cold inside convention center in San Antonio

Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center among several warming centers in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO – A place known for hosting meetings became the spot for heating and a shelter from the cold for dozens of San Antonio residents whose homes are without electricity due to the wintry weather.

The city of San Antonio opened up the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center Tuesday night to use it as a warming shelter. The convention center will remain open Wednesday, city officials said.

Anthony Grey was one of the 220 people who showed up at the convention center, hoping to escape a harsh reality at home.

“The lights and the water was off, and everything,” Grey said.

With no other choice, Grey spent the night at the center.

The city offered people a chance to stay for a few hours or all night long.

Jessica Riojas said she had no choice but to accept the offer.

“No power and no lights ever since, like, a day and a half,” she said, describing the conditions she and her family faced at home. “I have a one and a half month old and a four year old.”

At the center, people were able to thaw out a bit and find something to eat, courtesy of the San Antonio Food Bank.

Laura Mayes, a spokeswoman for the city, said the warming center will remain open throughout the day Wednesday.

Mayes said a decision will be made at a later time regarding whether to keep it open another night.

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