As temperatures continue to drop, conditions for people experiencing homelessness are getting more dangerous.
Christian Assistance Ministries along with numerous other organizations and nonprofits hit the streets on Sunday to try and get as many people as they could out of the cold and into a shelter.
“Not one person is left out in this cold that wants to get out of the freezing weather. As cold as it’s going to get (Sunday night) it’s going to be painful and threatening to their life” said Valerie Salas, director of homeless services for Christian Assistance Ministries, or CAM.
After the organization game planned and packed supplies, they hit the streets. KSAT followed Salas all through downtown as she stopped at numerous homeless encampments. Other volunteers took other parts of town.
They’d ask people if they needed rides to a shelter. If yes, they’d provide transportation. If people said no, they’d give them hand warmers, blankets and coats to try and stay warm. They believe they placed about 80 people in shelters, but the majority chose to stay where they were.
“It’s super hard when that answer is ‘no’ and you want it more than that person does but we’re just going to love them until they say ‘yes,’” Salas said.
Sunday’s work was made much easier thanks to a brand new app. The Weather Shelter Coalition app was made to ease some of the difficulties the volunteers had faced in last year’s winter storm. The pastor of the Life Restored Church, Alex Fleming, got with designers to make the app a reality.