Nonprofit organizations, San Antonio outreach offer homeless people transportation to warming shelters

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio nonprofit organizations and city outreach worked together to get homeless people off the streets and into warm and dry places to stay. The freezing and wet conditions could be deadly to those stuck with nowhere to go.

On Wednesday, crews started making the rounds to inform people of the upcoming conditions. Only two shelters specifically for the homeless were open last night.

Five shelters are up and running Thursday, with the option to open more if needed.

Valerie Salas, director of homeless services at Christian Assistance Ministry, said people started looking for help when the rain hit.

“I was starting to get calls at 3, 4 in the morning when the rain really started hitting, so (we’re) just making sure that we leave our information and just piggybacking on those people who were left outside that are changing their minds,” Salas said.

One man who is experiencing homelessness told KSAT he had initially decided to brave the cold but admitted he wasn’t prepared for the rain.

“I was better off last year when the freeze hit cause it was the snow with blankets. I was prepared for that coming, but with this rain, it was definitely the worse last night,” said Sid Sherman, who slept outside Wednesday.

Salas said even though many quickly had a change of heart, plenty still didn’t want a ride to a shelter.

Salas and others driving around town will provide them with heating kits if they don’t want the ride. They include hand warmers, gloves, blankets, and beanies -- anything to help get them through the night.

On Friday and for the next few days, roughly 20 organizations will continue working together to get as many people as possible off the streets and into a shelter.


About the Author:

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.