PLANO, Texas — On a cold Saturday night, the Salvation Army of North Texas raced to get the most vulnerable to safety.
Lt. Michael Cain, an officer with the Salvation Army’s Plano location, was busy Saturday evening as they opened up a warming shelter for the first time this season.
“These temperatures, when it gets this cold, it is dangerous or even deadly for the homeless in the community,” Cain said.
Temperatures are expected to drop to the 30s in parts of North Texas for a couple of nights. That’s why the Salvation Army opened warming shelters in Plano and McKinney. The non-profit was prepared to open up more locations wherever necessary.
The Salvation Army picked up those who are homeless at DART stations and area libraries and brought them to warming shelters in buses. Some clients called the non-profit to request a ride.
It’s a critical mission to keep people warm.
“We have actually had guests that will come to you and say you saved my life,” Cain said. “We actually lost two Plano residents about three years ago due to the frigid temperatures, so The Salvation Army got together to say, this isn’t gonna happen again. So, we started this program and it’s grown from there.”
As clients walked in Saturday evening, volunteers provided them with cots, warm clothing, sleeping bags and other basic necessities.
They helped some clients start the process of finding housing as they checked in for the night.
It’s the critical help people need, especially after last year’s deadly winter freeze.
“We really saved lives last year, 126 individuals that didn’t have a place to go slept in this building they really had nowhere else to go,” Cain said.
In Plano, the Salvation Army’s building will keep up to 75 people warm over the next few nights.
Beyond giving clients a place to rest and sleep, volunteers said they hoped to give them some comfort ahead of the Christmas holiday.
“Tonight, they’re gonna sit down, and we’re gonna have a meal we’re gonna hear stories,” Cain said. we’re gonna talk, probably watch a football game, it’s gonna be a family environment.”
Currently, the Salvation Army of North Texas still needs hundreds of thousands in donations to make sure that its services can continue into 2022.
You can donate online or at a Red Kettle in your community.
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