The homeless population in South Texas has grown; hurricane Harvey displaced many people and one of the few places they can seek food and shelter, is trying to maintain resources they can use.
"Can you imagine sleeping on the street in the mosquitoes, in the danger?" executive director, Carole Murphery posed the hypothetical question to KZTV.
Carole, has dedicated her life to making sure people in the Coastal Bend, down on their luck have a place where they can get back on their feet.
"I’m just happy to be here and not out on the street," resident of the Good Samaritan, Julia Wijsman, admitted.
"I wish one day I’ll get out of here… but other then that it’s a good place, it helps people out. I love miss Carole, she helps us out a lot," Adrian Urrutia said through tears.
The Good Samaritan Rescue Mission, located on 210 S Alameda St, Corpus Christi, TX 78401, offers food, shelter, a place to shower. It also offers a sense of belonging and purpose for the hundreds of people who have made it their home. However, the building itself is 97 years old… and lately, the weather has not been kind. Recent rains have flooded parts of the building and the heat makes many living quarters, unbearable.
"It was like a sweat box in here," Murphery admits.
"It tends to get very hot with a lot of people in there…it gets real stuffy and hot and nasty," Julia told KZTV.
Last year, 202 used to be a higher number of people sleeping at The Good Samaritan, the new normal is over 220.
"I came here on the 4th of July last year and there are easily twice as many people last year, the ladies population has easily doubled," Julia said.
In order to make due at night, both the coffee house and lobby turn into a makeshift bedrooms with portable mattresses.
"Now, this coffee house has become a permanent home for some people who can’t get into the main building because there is just no space," Carole explained to KZTV.
It’s certainly not ideal, but this Rescue Mission will not turn anyone away. All the warm bodies make keeping things cool a task in itself.
"Some of the window units have gone out, we really need to add two window units to the lobby, so that it’s even tolerable in the evenings," Carole said.
Sleeping comfortably is a benefit so many of us take for granted and the mission needs: better roofing, building repairs, but most important right now, portable AC units.
"It’s easier for us if we can put window or wall units as needed…it looks terrible on the outside because they are draining but the people on the inside aren’t having a heat stroke," said Carole.
The heat has us all sweating, but Carole refuses to give up on anybody that is in a tough position.
"Everything we have is wearing out, but the people that need us are not that’s growing by the day…and we are going to take them as long as we possibly can," she said.
The Good Samaritan is not government funded, it takes someone like you sitting there wondering how you can help to take action. The mission is in desperate need of AC window units, small repairs throughout the building and roof work. If you would like to help, call (361) 883-6195. You can check out the Good Samaritan Facebook pagehere. To learn more about how you can help check out their website here.