Several organizations are working together to help people living outside during the drop in temperatures.
“I worry about how cold it’s gonna get tonight,” said Valerie Salas, director of homeless services for Christian Alliance Ministries (CAM).
Outreach with CAM is meeting people where they are on the street to bring valuable, even lifesaving supplies to where the unsheltered are.
“Even though it doesn’t look like much, these have emergency hand warmers in there,” Salas said. “So these are what we give out, especially to put all over their bodies to avoid hypothermia.”
Salas says they work closely with San Antonio police downtown and ensure officers have warming supplies to hand out.
“That’s a huge vital relationship we have. They know our clients out there. They’re very familiar with them. They know who will come in, who won’t,” Salas said. “So they’re like -- we have Daniel on the corner over here. ‘He’s not gonna come in. Can you come make sure he’s got the warm supplies he needs? Things like that. And then through the night, we hit the night shift last night, so their night shift had a bunch of supplies, and by this morning, they were already out.”
With temperatures dropping to near freezing, Salas hopes to convince unsheltered people like Gerald Evans Sorenson to go inside.
“Tonight, we’re doing our best. The cold weather is wet, and it’s heartbreaking, a lot of it,” Sorenson said.
Many won’t go overnight. Instead, they’ll go to places like the Corazon Day Center for a few hours of warmth and a hot meal.
“They’re homeless because this is a lifestyle for them. They’ve been homeless for five to 10 years, so when it’s uncomfortable out like it is for us, that’s usually when we can make something happen,” said Morgan Handlay, director of the day center.
On Tuesday, they opened earlier and stayed open later than usual to give people a break from the cold.
For overnight shelter, Dianne Talbert with Communities Under the Bridge is opening up their sanctuary as an emergency warming shelter.
“The way we lay ‘em out and depending on who attends -- whether they have handicap aids or something with them -- we can fit anywhere from 60 to 90 people in there,” said Talbert, the executive director of CUB.
It’s first come, first served. Once they fill up, they’ll help take people to other shelters in the area, like Sold Out Believers and Haven for Hope.
Because the cold weather is expected to continue Wednesday, the Corazon Day Center will open up again around 7 a.m.
Talbert says they have their eyes on the temperatures Wednesday. If it’s below 35 degrees, CUB will open its emergency shelter again.
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Tonight several organizations are working together to help San Antonio’s unsheltered population during these cold temperatures. pic.twitter.com/hcN8tX0LwG— Leigh Waldman (@LeighWaldman) January 31, 2023