CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — As the Coastal Bend prepares for freezing temperatures, local organizations are providing resources for the local homeless population.
During the day Thursday and Friday, Metro Ministries’ Loaves and Fishes Cafeteria will be open as a warming station from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. with hot chocolate provided. Metro Ministries is located at 1919 Leopard St., and also provides lunch and dinner from 12-1 p.m., and 5-6 p.m., respectively.
“The weather is only going to get worse over the next 24 hours, so this is a daytime location for people to come,” said Metro Ministries CEO Patty Clark. “We encourage anybody who, either at home doesn’t have sufficient heat, or is on the street, please come and join us, we’d love to have you.”
One person taking advantage of the warmth and hot chocolate Thursday was Donny Thomas Sr., who said he is going to try to stay warm by layering clothing.
“If you stay warm, it’s through extra clothes. I asked a friend of mine, whenever she would work for the airlines at the airport, she would put warm-ups underneath, and wind pants, and stuff like that,” he said. “It looks like you’re wearing regular jeans, but underneath you have warm-ups and then wind pants. The main thing is covering your hands with gloves or something, and then your ears.”
For an overnight shelter, the Salvation Army, located at 1802 Buford St., will have around 30 beds available for people, on a first-come, first-served basis. Salvation Army Social Service Director Kyle Knutson said there will be some beds reserved for individuals CCPD brings in from off the street who are the most at-risk in the cold.
“We’re going to save five beds for those folks who could possibly die out there on the streets,” Knutson said.
Knutson said the Salvation Army gave more than 30 blankets to CCPD to give out, and will have more for people at the shelter.
The shelter will open at 5 p.m. on Thursday and stay open until Friday morning, and then re-open at 5 p.m. Friday afternoon. Not only will people have a place to stay the night, Knutson said crews there will try to assist them into getting into a permanent housing program.
“It’s just important to get those folks off the street and into a shelter,” he said. “Once they get into our shelter, I’m going to have my street outreach team come out here and let them know of other programs that are available and try to get them into a permanent program. Maybe we can get them into an apartment, we can do several different things.”
Knutson said Catholic Charities will be providing soup for the shelter. Additionally, he does not anticipate running out of beds either night, but if they do run out of room, his crew will send people to the Good Samaritan Rescue Mission at 210 S. Alameda St., and vice versa.
During the day, Mother Theresa Shelter at 513 Sam Rankin St. will be open Friday from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Additionally, the City of Corpus Christi will have warming shelters available Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (time subject to change based on road conditions) and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
They are located at:
Broadmoor Senior Center, 1651 Tarlton St.
Ethel Eyerly Senior Center, 654 Graham Rd.
Northwest Senior Center, 9725 Up River Rd.
La Retama Library, 805 Comanche St. will open Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, January 21, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Ben F. McDonald Library at 4044 Greenwood Dr. will open Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The city also distributed cold weather gear this week and encouraged people on the streets to stay in one of the shelters available to them in the city.