Longview Homeless Shelters Packed - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/30/06-Longview

Longview Homeless Shelters Packed

        With the freezing pre-winter temperatures, East Texas rescue workers are calling for homeless people in Longview to take shelter before it's too late.

     "We were so full last night that we slept about 9 men on cots on the floor we expect more tonight, we may not have a literal bed but we will make a bed for them, we don't turn anyone away" says Hiway 80 Rescue Mission director Tony Chung.

       A self admitted drug and alcohol problem landed 50 year old Randy Anderson on the streets, living under a railway bridge, but tonight he'll sleep at the Hi-Way 80 Mission.

   "Just got down on my luck,  I got no place to go" says Anderson.

      Anderson took us to a makeshift tent city in Longview of Enterpruise Street, hoping to bring more homeless in from the cold. One man, who lost everything in New Orleans last year, has come to Longview only to find himself homeless again.

   Stehen Delapasse said,  "Nothing was going on at home so I figured I'd find someplace else , see if it was better."

     The Salvation Army and Rescue Mission housed over 160 people last night. They say extreme cold has been brutal on the homeless in the past.

    "I've literally seen people with frostbite not only in their fingers but in their feet" says Chung.

   For Anderson, he's just glad to be indoors.

   "It's getting cold out there, and it's going to be getting colder, I'm glad I'm someplace warm" he says.

      Shelter workers say they are in desperate need of winter items. Extra large winter coats are needed, as well as blankets, head stockings and thermal underwear. You can donate any of these items at the Salvation Army Thrift Store on Cotton Street in Longview, and the Hi-Way 80 Rescue Mission on Marshall Avenue. Bob Hallmark, Reporting bhallmark@kltv.com

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