Hiway 80 shelter seeing fewer intakes due to cooler weather

The most important part of the heat going away for the mission is conserving resources.
Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 7:41 AM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - It was a beautiful East Texas day with cooler temperatures Sunday morning, and the feeling was warm, but not blistering. Is the heat on the way out? For one East Texas mission, indications may be that it is.

Weather is a science that includes things like air-streams, humidity, pressure and wind, but sometimes a place like Hiway 80 Rescue Mission can be an indicator as well.

They’re seeing fewer people come through their doors, though there were a lot this summer.

“We’re even having people come in that have places to live, have homes, but their air conditioning is out, or not sufficient. We’re having folks come in that normally we wouldn’t see,” said Mission Director Brian Livingston.

The theory among mission workers is that the homeless and transient will stay out in makeshift camps rather than come in as long as the weather is not a threat. But the most important part of the heat going away for the mission is conserving resources.

They were at overflow capacity during the 100-plus degree temperatures of summer, often sleeping people on the floor wherever they could. With so many, resources for food and water were dwindling quickly.

“In Longview, we’re serving about 200 men, women and children daily. That works out to about 600 meals a day. Summer months, donations go down: monetary and food donations,” said one mission worker.

Though they’ll never turn anyone away, cooler weather could ease the strain.

The mission now turns their attention to cold-weather needs as winter approaches. Warm clothing donations and, of course, food donations are welcome.