BRAZOS COUNTY — Cold temperatures for the Brazos Valley this weekend will be trying for anyone who does not have access to shelter. There are some options for members of the homeless community to stay warm.
In Bryan, Twin City Mission spokesperson Ron Crozier knows just what hardships homeless individuals face. Often, they’re focused solely on how to survive day-by-day.
"How can I stay warm today? How do I get a meal today? - That’s all they’re looking for," Crozier said. "What we need to do is challenge them, challenge our community, to plan ahead. We know we’re going to have this cold weather for a while, so we need to plan for a while.”
For those wanting to help the homeless community, Crozier suggested keeping blankets and coats at the ready when driving through town, approaching someone in need with cautious discretion.
“Approach them, but approach them safely," he said. "You can begin the conversation with, ‘hey would you like something to keep warm?’”
Local police officers often interact with the homeless. Bryan Police Department spokesperson, Ofc. Kole Taylor said that his patrol officers recently acquired blankets to pass out on the streets.
"Some people do want help, and we’ll provide rides to Twin City Mission, and there’s some people who just don’t want help, for whatever reason," Taylor said. "Luckily we live in a community where everyone takes care of each other as well.”
A homeless resident might seek warmth inside the doors of a shop or restaurant. Ron Crozier urged business owners to practice compassion for those in need.
"Those individuals who are needing a break from the elements are not going to be going into the high dollar stores," Crozier said. "They’re not trying to be invasive to anybody’s business.”
The United Way of the Brazos Valley invites anyone in need to call the resource hotline 2-1-1, where they can be connected to sources of food, clothing, and shelter.