WACO, TX — The Salvation Army says they will provide shelter and respite for those in need during any extreme weather conditions.
Cold weather is defined as below 40 degrees and local weather forecasts are used as reference.
If it is determined to be a ‘cold weather day/night’, as it has been for most of this week, the Red Shield Men’s Lodge and Community Kitchen, located at 300 Webster Avenue, offers additional space for shelter.
The Salvation Army said the Community Kitchen will remain open during the daytime hours as a warming center.
This is in addition to serving breakfast and dinner daily (and lunch on Mondays & Tuesdays).
Red Shield Men’s Lodge provides shelter to homeless men in the community 365 nights a year, according to the Salvation Army.
Within this facility, there are 20 beds that are available as either long-term/extended stay beds designated to those men who are in the rehousing program or as emergency overnight shelter.
Those in the long-term rehousing program are working alongside the case management team, being coached, and provided skills and tools to find employment and permanent housing, along with assistance toward rental deposits and furnishing to ensure a smooth transition.
After the evening meal, to make additional beds available, the Community Kitchen dining room area converts to a general men’s shelter.
"We place cots out each night, considered temporary beds and open to any in need," the Salvation Army said. "On cold weather nights, we place the cots and additional mats and sleeping bags, all to provide safe shelter from the extreme weather."
During the daytime hours, if the temperatures are below 40 degrees, the community kitchen will remain open throughout the day, to provide warmth to those needing escape from the extreme cold.
"An individual can come inside, warm up, and receive a hot beverage such as coffee or hot chocolate," according to the Salvation Army.
Throughout the season, donated winter items, like hats, gloves and blankets, are provided to those in need.
Items are distributed through the season through sharing events – or made available daily.
Sally’s House, the shelter for women and families with children, already has very limited space and is often at capacity, but they will make extra space through cots or mats.
"We work in tandem with other community partners who provide shelter, sharing information and referrals as the weather situation occurs," the Salvation Army said. "If there were an emergent situation, such as a long term extreme weather or storms, we would also communicate with our Emergency Disaster Service (EDS) teams to assess the situation and react accordingly to meet any additional needs of the community."
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