Local shelters will not turn anyone away during freezing temps

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Cold weather across Texoma Friday night has many staying indoors, but not everyone has a warm place to stay.

That is why two Wichita Falls shelters are stepping into help.

Those who run the Salvation Army said their Emergency Shelter Dorm is expected to fill up, and they will not be turning anyone away.

Those who depend on these shelters, like Randy Baird, said they are grateful to be able to escape the cold.

"When it starts getting this cold, it's too dangerous," said Baird.

Leo Hutchinson said if it was not for the Faith Mission, he would not have a place to stay for the night.

Both shelters are doing whatever it takes to get those who need a place to stay out of the cold.

Vicky Payne, Faith Mission's Chief Development Officer, said that includes those who do not have id's.

"Our plan is they can stay, but they are separated from the general population. So, we have a different space for them to stay until they can get their id, and the background check can be run," said Payne.

Major Robert Green, the Wichita Falls Salvation Army's Commanding Officer, said after 9 p.m. they ask for those seeking shelter to head to the police station or sheriff's office to get cleared before settling in for the night.

"There is no reason for anyone to be outside at night, especially when it's going to be down to like 10 degrees," said Major Green.

These shelters are doing more than providing a warm place for people to rest.

The Salvation Army is passing out handmade quilts, and Faith Mission is giving away Bombas socks.

Payne said this footwear is designed specifically for the homeless, and are reinforced to last a long time.

Back at the Salvation Army Eddie Smith is prepared for a busy night working the late shift at the sign in desk, where he hands out blankets, pillows and towels.

Smith said he has been involved with the Salvation Army for two months.

"It's a lifesaver for me. If I didn't have this place, I don't know where I'd be," said Smith.

Those who are trying to escape the bitter cold can come into these shelters no matter the time of night.

The Salvation Army also has a TV room where people can hangout during the day and keep warm.

Both shelters offer free meals and coats.

The Faith Mission asks if you have any jackets, scarves or gloves you can donate, to drop them off at 1300 Travis Street in Wichita Falls.

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