Haven for Hope forced to prioritize families for the first time ahead of hard freeze

‘Last night, we slept 1,720 individuals and families all together’

SAN ANTONIO – Haven for Hope is prioritizing families ahead of the first hard freeze of the season.

“We’ve been operating over capacity for about two years now, and last night, we slept 1,720 individuals and families all together,” said Terri Behling, communications director of Haven for Hope.

Behling said the organization has been utilizing nontraditional sleep spaces, like its chapel and administrative building lobby. Unfortunately, Haven for Hope has now maxed out of their overflow space.

“You guys are making the change to prioritize families. Have you all done that before?” asked KSAT reporter John Paul Barajas.

“No, this is the first time that we have made this change,” responded Behling.

“What makes this year different?” asked Barajas.

“I think what’s different is that we’re seeing more people experiencing homelessness. They may be staying in the shelter longer because of the waiting list for the public housing vouchers,” answered Behling.

With the season’s first hard freeze coming up, Haven for Hope and other nonprofits, such as Corazon Ministries, are patterning together to ensure those without a home have a place to go.

“All of our partner agencies’ outreach teams are seeing these messages that are coming through, and they’re able to get transportation to those clients and get them connected to another shelter that might have space,” said Morgan Handley, associate director of Corazon Ministries.

Handley said shelter isn’t the only thing needed. Have for Hope and its partners are asking for volunteers and donations of supplies, warm clothes, or money to help those in need.

Links to help:

Haven for Hope

Corazon Ministries Volunteer Page

Corazon Ministries Donation Page


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About the Authors

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.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.

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