Chilly weather crowding ETX homeless shelters - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Chilly weather crowding ETX homeless shelters

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -

The chill of winter is bringing more people to East Texas shelters, and putting a strain on their resources. Men's and women's shelters in Longview have seen large numbers of homeless people coming into their facilities to get out of the recent cold weather.

"We're up about 30 to 40 people from what we usually are," says Highway 80 rescue mission worker Jonathan Alford.

The Highway 80 rescue mission housed 170 men Saturday night, 30-percent over capacity, while House of Hope women's shelter is housing 20-percent over their capacity. Recent freezing temperatures that brought snow, brought many in off the street wanting to stay warm.

"We've been handing out an enormous amount of gloves and hats , fleece blankets trying to keep every body as warm as we can," Alford says.

Shelter workers say they expect more will be trying to come in from the cold, and public donations have helped.

"People in the community have been really faithful with their donations we have an abundance of gloves and hats and blankets," he says.

But shelters do what they're designed for. To help those looking for the simplest thing, to get in from the cold.

"We're welcoming every body in right now we're not turning anybody away right now," says Alford.

The shelters need donations of food and warm clothing to help meet the influx of new visitors during the winter.

Copyright 2012 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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