LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - In Deep East Texas, the City of Lufkin and Cherokee County have opened cold-weather shelters for people without heat, and Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office deputies are transporting people with no electricity or transportation to a warm family member or friend’s home.
“Our cold-weather shelter for those without power is now opening and operating at Pitser Garrison Convention Center at 601 N. Second Street,” a post on the City of Lufkin Facebook page stated. “We have about 10 guests staying with us so far, and we have room for a lot more. We know this isn’t the Hilton, but you will be safe, warm, and fed.”
The post also stated that City of Lufkin employees will be asking COVID-19 screening questions at the door. It also requested that guests of the cold-weather shelter wear masks.
Anyone accepted for shelter at the Convention Center must sign a release and waiver regarding COVID-19.
“You don’t need to call before coming,” the Facebook post stated. “If you opt to travel to the Convention Center, please take your time. TxDOT and our Street Department are doing everything they can to ensure safe travel, but these conditions are unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.”
The City of Lufkin post stated that they will be providing updates throughout the night as needed.
“Stay safe, and stay warm,” the Facebook post stated.
Cherokee County Sheriff Brent Dickson shared similar thoughts on the sheriff’s office Facebook page.
“We are running into the issue of the elderly and others who have no power, heat source, or transportation,” Dickson said in the Facebook post. “We will be working on transporting anyone who calls, to a warm family member or friend’s house.”
Dickson said the sheriff’s office is working with Central Baptist Church in Jacksonville. He added that the church has decided to open its doors for anyone who does not have a place to go.
“We will do everything in our power to assure the safety of our citizens during this time of need,” Dickson said. “Please pray for our community and all of our first responders who are working tirelessly to keep our community safe.”
In a later Facebook post, Dickson said that there are currently three places in Cherokee County that are accepting people in need of warmth and shelter. They include Central Baptist Church, the Alto Community Fellowship, and the Rusk Civic Center.
To contact the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, call (903) 683-2271.