Several homeless service nonprofits in San Antonio are working to help the homeless stay warm as colder weather descends upon Texas.
Haven for Hope recently hosted a coat drive to this end, as previously covered by The Dallas Express.
“We do need more winter clothes,” said communications director Terri Behling, per KENS 5.
“We know some of those items will probably end up getting lost or left behind or forgotten,” she continued. “And then when we have another cold snap, we’ll want to restock because we constantly have clients coming in and out of Haven.”
Another San Antonio nonprofit working to keep the homeless warm is the Christian Assistance Ministry (CAM).
“When these temperatures drop, we push forward,” said CAM homeless services director Valerie Salas.
She told KENS 5 that at least 150 people came to CAM facilities on Monday to receive coats and blankets.
“Some had no shoes, some were just in shorts,” said Salas. “We start to give out layers, we start to let them know where to keep warm.”
“It’s a warm place where they can come and not only take respite from the cold temperatures, but they can get a hot meal and a shower,” Salas said, per KENS 5.
In San Antonio, Haven for Hope has been credited with reducing homelessness by 77% through its “one-stop-shop” approach to homeless services.
Haven provides supportive services like counseling and job skills training on the same campus it provides emergency housing for its clients. Meanwhile, homelessness and vagrancy continue to be major concerns in Dallas.
A recent survey conducted by The Dallas Express found that 76% of Dallas residents are frustrated with homelessness, vagrancy, and panhandling both in their neighborhoods and throughout the city. Additionally, 70% of respondents said they were dissatisfied with the number of visible homeless encampments.
The “one-stop-shop” model used by Haven has polled favorably among Dallas residents. In August, Mayor Eric Johnson visited Haven’s campus, but it remains to be seen whether the City of Dallas will adopt a similar model.