Local Homeless Shelters Scrambling to Get People Out of the Cold

posted by 1200 WOAI -

When the thermometer dips below freezing like it did in San Antonio last night, living on the streets can be deadly, which is why crews with the Haven for Hope homeless shelter have begun to be proactive in their approach to help the needy, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

"Our outreach team is on the streets of downtown, looking for people and encouraging them to get off the streets," Shanna Salazar, who runs the Courtyard at the Haven for Hope tells Newsradio 1200 WOAI.

The cold snap in San Antonio stretched another day, going down to under 30-degrees last night.  The evening temperatures are expected to stay below freezing for the rest of the week, according to the National Weather Service in New Braunfels.

At the Haven for Hope, they have about 1,800 in their courtyard, which is a safe and warm space for those who may still be facing drug and alcohol issues, or don't want help.  Salazar says that's actually lower than normal, despite the chilly weather.

"Because, during the beginning of the new year, a lot of families take in their loved ones," she explains.  "We always see a decrease at the new year."

San Antonio is not alone in this cold weather.  National Weather Service meteorologists issued wind chill advisories and freeze warnings this week covering an area that stretched from South Texas to Canada.  The cold is blamed in at least nine deaths in the past week, including an elderly homeless man in Corpus Christi, who apparently fell out of his wheelchair and was discovered by police.