LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - The winter storm put a strain on East Texas homeless and rescue shelters, seriously depleting their resources.
Even shelter workers at the Hiway 80 Rescue Mission in Longview had never prepared for what hit over two weeks ago. Sheltering people well over capacity, the worry was running out of resources.
“We had no shortage of people this go around. We had well over 200 folks in shelter. Staff couldn’t get here. We had our leadership training program running things here,” says mission director Brian Livingston.
They were serving well over 600 meals a day. Continuing to have enough food and warm clothing for everyone was a concern. But an unexpected surprise happened.
“It was amazing. We got pallets of food from Sams’s, pallets from MG Foods out on Cotton Street. People showing up with clothing, jackets and coats,” Livingston says.
“One of our biggest donations was MG Foods. They brought four separate truckloads of sandwiches and salads and fresh fruit,” says Gabriel Pace of the missions leadership program.
In previous winter weather events, the missions pantry shelves were very bare. But now they can’t find enough room to put all the donations.
So many donations came in that the mission began to distribute surplus to other charities like One Love Longview.
“We were actually able to distribute food to other organizations, we had so much coming in. It was really cool to see the community step up,” Brian says.
“We believe in a God that delivers those miracles, so it’s always good to see him provide,” Pace says.
The Hiway 80 Rescue Mission will always take donations of food and clothing at their locations in Tyler and Longview.