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Homeless Shelters Crucial on Frigid Nights

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Posted: Jan 16, 2013 9:14 PM

Updated: Jan 16, 2013 10:01 PM

McALLEN - Frigid temperatures can be a matter of life and death for some Rio Grande Valley residents.

On Wednesday, even those accustomed to spending their nights under the stars were looking for a warm place away from the frosty wind.

Homeless people in McAllen said they rely on the Salvation Army to save them from life-threatening temperatures.

People began lining up before 6 p.m. to get inside the Salvation Army homeless shelter.

"One of the good things is that we always take people in, even if all the beds are already filled, we find a way to let other people come in," Salvation Army Corps Assistant Schadrac Barnabe said.

Men, women and children sought refuge at the shelter. The shelter has separate quarters for men and women.

Sujeth Barrera, 20, was one of the homeless looking for refuge.

"I've been outside for a week and it's very cold," Barrera said.

"You can't turn one way because you can only last warm for about two seconds. You have to turn another way and find someone to sleep next to ... if not your going to be cold all night," she said.

The Salvation Army requires forms of identification, but it makes exceptions when temperatures dip to dangerous levels.

"I don't know what I'd be doing. I'd be like trying to get arrested. I don't think we can make it without it (Salvation Army)," Barrera said.

"There's a lot of people in the street right now and they are cold and always hungry," she said.

Shelters

Rio Grande City
Cross Ministries Church
1207 N. Avasolo St.
956-487-7379

McAllen
Salvation Army
1600 N. 23rd St.
956-682-1468

Harlingen
Loaves & Fishes
514 S. E St.
956-423-1014

Brownsville
Ozanam Center
656 North Minnesota Rd.
956-831-6331

Topics: salvation army, schadrac barnabe, shelter, sujeth barrera

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