LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - As temperatures drop to some of the coldest we've seen this season, the Salvation Army is gearing up to make sure those in need have a place to stay warm. Their shelter is located at 17th Street and Avenue J, and even with the cold temperatures we've already had on the South Plains, Captain Mike Morton says they've only gone over capacity once. That was on Christmas Eve.
Morton says they have 48-beds, and can expand to the dining room and chapel if necessary. He also wants folks to know they do relax the rules during extreme cold. "In general the shelter is able to handle whatever comes up, so that part isn't a problem. It's just getting folks to come in and for whatever reason, folks have an idea that they don't want to come into the shelter. That's their decision, but when it gets single digits it's time to start seeking shelter," Morton said.
Morton says they let folks stay longer and throughout the day when it's extremely cold. Folks who chose to stay outside in the cold are not forgotten, though. The Salvation Army began a new program this season to help keep folks who stay out in the cold safe.
Crews head out in the Salvation Army's mobile canteen to serve people who chose not to come into the shelter. Morton says they make sure people have warm food to help keep them warm through the night to help survive the cold.
They also distribute blankets, gloves, shoes, and hats. "If the weather is going to drop below 30-degrees by 7:00 p.m. they're going to send the canteen out, because we think that becomes a life and death kind of issue," Morton said.
Crews started using the canteen for this mission in November, and since that time they've been out around a dozen times.
Morton says the shelter is not just for the homeless. If you need assistance during extreme cold, you're always welcome.
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