East Texas mission braces for coldest part of winter, could use some help

Hiway 80 Rescue Mission

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas mission, already at capacity, is preparing for what may yet be ahead for the remainder of January and February.

Regularly sleeping dozens on the floor, the Highway 80 Rescue Mission in Longview is well aware that the East Texas winter could change on a dime.

"Guest dorm and dorm area is full. We're prepared as much as we can be. We advise people not to stay out in the cold. 50-60 degrees one moment, next moment it's 30 degrees," says mission day manager Cedric Snoddy.

Mission workers know only too well how East Texas winter can drastically change, and it can be dangerous.

"Cold kills. We don't want any of the homeless or anybody else being out in the weather jeopardizing their safety or their health. Even some families with wives and kids come in here," says mission resident Lee Sessions.

The mission needs winter items to prepare.

"Jackets, long sleeve shirts, socks. Necessities that we need," Snoddy says.

And already serving 400-to 600 meals a day, they need food.

"Food pantry is needed, so whether dry goods or whatever you want to donate," says Snoddy.

And they don't want anyone to get caught out in the cold.

"Be smart come on in out of the cold, come on in here , we got mats blankets, clothes for you , shoes in case you don't have any shoes , coats," says mission resident Anthony Holden.

Donations of food and clothing are being accepted at Highway 80 Rescue Mission locations in Tyler and Longview.

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