The Waco Salvation Army is planning to increase the capacity of its shelters on Wednesday afternoon for cold weather.
Employees make the determination to accept more people due to weather conditions on a daily basis. During the winter months, if the temperature drops below 35 degrees or if it’s 40 degrees and raining, the shelter increases the number of people it welcomes.
According to Waco Salvation Army Shelter Director George Delgado, on average 12 people go to the men’s shelter. However, he said on Wednesday night, they will make room for up to 25 people.
If temperatures are below freezing, the shelter doors remain open during the day. Hot beverages and doughnuts are provided at that time.
"We know it's very dangerous to be out there in freezing temperatures. A lot of their clientele is elderly,” Delgado said. “If they stay out there, there are liable to succumb to the weather.”
Jerrold McClinton who was born and raised in Alabama has been staying at the shelter for a month.
McClinton, who lived out of the state before, explained his life unraveled after his former fiancée cheated on him.
“That drove me a little bit insane,” McClinton said.
The 36-year-old who is homeless right now is trying to get his life back on track, seeking employment.
"I'm taking the proper steps to get myself out of this situation so I can get back in society and pay taxes and do things normal people do,” McClinton said.
The Alabama native is grateful for being able to have a place to sleep, especially during cold nights.
“I feel it's better than having six, seven houses because got to come somewhere where is warm, where you know you are going to get a hot shower, something hot to eat and just learn more about the Salvation Army,” McClinton said.
The Waco shelter increased its capacity on Sunday night too. Delgado said he anticipates to get busier this weekend if colder weather lingers.
McClinton, who plans to stay there then, said he is thankful for their assistance.
"I'm blessed and fortunate to have them open the doors for us,” McClinton said. “Not to have anywhere to go in this bad weather, I don’t wish that on my worst enemy.”
If you would like to help this shelter, there is a current need for volunteers in the evening during the winter.
On Wednesday night, the women and family shelter was full. Lt. Aaron Millin said he anticipates increasing capacity Sunday, Monday and Tuesday as temperatures because temperatures are expected to be at or below 35 degrees.
My Brother's Keeper has 56 beds and will add other mattresses on Sunday and Monday, if needed.
-Salvation Army's Sally's House (Waco)
-Jesus Hope & Love Mission (Killeen)
-Cove House Emergency Homeless Shelter (Copperas Cove)
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