Shelters prepare for more East Texans as temps drop

By LaKecia Shockley - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - The cold weather predicted in East Texas has everyone on alert, scrambling to prepare. East Texas shelters are also doing what they can to help those people who otherwise would have no place to hide out from the cold.

Walking to your car in the cold is one thing, but to be outside and homeless is another.

"We're sleeping almost a 150 to 160 men, women, and kids every night," said Eric Burger, the Executive Director of Highway 80 Rescue Mission.

Now, since temperatures dropped, Burger has sheltered more homeless East Texans.

"If it's a life-threatening night, we're going to give them grace and we're just going to make room for them," he said.

Tereshka Lawton and her two kids fall in that group. Lawton says if it was not for Hope Haven Rescue Mission, she would have to take drastic measures.

"I would be forced to give my kids up because I wouldn't want them to suffer out in the cold," said Lawton. "I would put myself through it before them; that's how much I love my kids. "I can just imagine what it would be like...for me to be out there with both of them and them not having a place to lay their heads. And, it's freezing cold out there."

Lawton's not alone.

"If I didn't have here, we would be out in the cold," said Angel Boyte, a homeless mother. "So it's a scary thought to be out there."

Boyte and her children are homeless too.

"I went into depression and basically lost my business and my home and everything else, so I ended up with nowhere to live," said Boyte.

Being homeless is a challenge for Boyte, and her two-year-old. But still she worries that others may not be as lucky as she is.

"You never know, you never know," she said. "If not, pray, pray, pray that there's somewhere nice out there like Hope Haven that you could go to."

Along with the Highway 80 Rescue Mission, several shelters will be open around East Texas, including with the Salvation Army.

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