LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - John Romero has only been a resident of Tent City for about three days, but that is long enough for him.
“There's no running from this,” he said. “We're stuck.”
Tent City is Lubbock’s homeless shelter, and the inescapable summer heat is something Romero said he experiences there every day. He said temperatures in the donated military tents can reach up to 110 to 120 degrees at times.
“It's horrific,” he said. “People are having to put water bottles on their necks so they don't pass out. I met a lady just a while ago that was in the office, and she had some towels and some stuff on her neck. So, it's heat exhaustion.”
The Tent City manager Alexandra D’Leon said they are trying to help the residents out as much as they can, but it is a hopeless situation.
“We have windows open, as you can see, for tents to get fresh air, but that's about it,” D’Leon said. “We have the barn with electricity with fans there, but the fans there aren't working enough to cool everybody down.”
Most of the residents try to go into the Tent City office to cool down, but D’Leon said they find no relief there.
“We have all windows open in the office and we have no air coming in whatsoever,” she said, “so it's like an oven in there.”
That means only two fans in the barn are expected to keep a population of about 60 cooled down.
“Fans are almost a necessity,” Romero said. “They’re practically a luxury.”
These high summer temperatures are just another burden that Romero said some at Tent City just cannot handle.
“There's a lot of brokenness here,” he said.
To help Tent City residents, D’Leon said to come to their office at 13th St. and Ave. A and speak with a manager. She said they can use any sort of donations, but they ask particularly for fans at this time.