HOUSTON - This cold weather is brutal, and no one feels it harder than Houston’s homeless brothers and sisters.
Thankfully, many have sought shelter, like at the Star of Hope’s men's shelter on Ruiz.
“We had a total of 327 guests in our shelter and that's 28 men that were actually sleeping on mats on the floor. We expect that to probably double as far as overflow tonight,” said Star of Hope’s Scott Arthur.
And still there are some street homeless unwilling to head indoors, and the star of hope “Love in Action” van is making the rounds.
“Hopefully they can get into the van and come to Star of Hope. Failing that, we`re going to make sure they at least can get something to survive, we`ll make sure that they get a coat or a blanket, and let them know that we are going to come back tomorrow and we expect them to be there,” said Arthur.
Kenneth Eakins makes these trips regularly. He gets to know their names, faces, and stories. It’s that relationship, built on trust, that is vital.
“It brings you into an awareness into what's important in their lives, what the actual need is, and how to best serve them,” said Eakins.
“We got a little ice on the ground this morning, it wasn't no joke,” shares Latrell Morgan, bundled from head to toe.
“The blanket and sometimes a toiletry kit is indeed an invitation it's a conversation starter, and it`s a trust maker, and it`s the beginning hopefully of a relationship that will save somebody's life,” said Arthur.
But all of these blankets and toiletries don't just come out of nowhere. They're donated, by caring Houstonians at locations like this at Emancipation and Lamar.
“It looks full, but they are going to be using this stuff probably the same day they're donated if not the next day. So believe if it's gently worn, and it's donated, it'll be definitely worn within the next 24 hours and we really appreciate the help,” Arthur explains.
If it`s on your heart, bring your gently worn coat or blanket, and toiletry donations to this drop off location Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or Saturday 8a.m. to Noon.
It'll help save your neighbor from the cold, and it'll put a little extra warmth in your heart.