People Flock To Mission To Escape Cold Weather - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/5/04 - Longview

People Flock To Mission To Escape Cold Weather

Temperatures Monday night are expecting to be in the twenties. It's weather that causes many who are homeless to go looking for warmth and a place to sleep.

The Hiway 80 Rescue Mission in Longview is already filled to capacity. Just before 6 o'clock Monday night people began crowding in, getting shelter from the cold and a warm meal.

"These guys are coming out of the streets or they don't have a place to stay there's no place for them to go tonight," says director Tony Chung.

Vince Benton is one of those men. A brick layer by trade, he's fallen on hard times lately, unable to find steady work."I work every chance that somebody needs a helping hand or something. The ask me do I wanna work and I work," says Vince.

Vince says sometimes they are able to fend for themselves but when the temperatures dip to freezing and below they need the mission. "That's the time I see more coming in and me coming in because this place you know it really helps you. It's warm and it keeps you from freezing in these temperatues at nght time," says Vince.

Donald Bowen once came to the Rescue Mission on a cold night.  Now he's back again but this time to help get him through school as he studies to become a Chaplain. "This place not only benefits them with clothing and the things that they need physically but also they help them spiritually," says Donald.

"It's not a matter of just being cold on the outside but feeling cold internally and we try to relieve that with conversation and the material things that we give to them," says Tony.

The director of the mission says they are still in need of more blankets, coats, gloves and socks. If you'd like to donate any of those items, you can drop them by the Hiway 80 Mission.

The Salvation Army in Tyler housed 147 people tonight.  It's in need of thermals, warm clothes, and especially blankets and pillows.

Amy Tatum, reporting. 

Powered by Frankly