Temperatures drop; homeless seek shelter

Lawton_The temperature is hovering just above freezing today, but only one of Lawton's only two homeless shelters is full.  That's expected to change tonight when both the Salvation Army and C. Carter Crane shelters expecting a full house.

The Salvation Army is already at capacity and has been for a week, but the C. Carter Crane Shelter still has a lot of vacancies.  Manager Brenda Fay says she's been taking calls all morning from people wondering if they have room.  "The phones have been ringing off the wall right now, people wanting to get in all at once," she says.

Many calls are from people with no place to go to stay warm.  Right now, Fay says the shelter has room for them with a capacity of 35.  Earlier, they only had six people staying there, but she expects the beds to fill right up tonight.  "It's definitely going to change," she says.  "I have two families coming in and I have, I think, 3 single that have called in."

George Rivas knows all about needing a warm place to stay.  He once needed the shelter's help, too.  But, now that he's on his feet, he's making sure those who walk in are taken care of.  "I've been there, you know.  It's nice to help someone one in the end," he says.  He knows that there are a lot of people who will need shelter tonight.

But, he says the sad thing is the very people who need to know the shelter has space, have no way to know that.  There's no television when your homeless - perhaps even no newspaper.  "There are some that are so frustrated," says Rivas.  "They just as soon just live out in the elements, you know?  When you can't reach them, that hurts."

So, if you see anyone who looks like they need help - pass the following information along.

The C. Carter Crane Shelter is located on Southwest Texas and when 7News last checked, it still had available beds.  The Salvation Army is full, but no one will be turned away.  The American Red Cross is also on standby - they have two emergency shelters ready to go, just in case.

  • The Salvation Army - 580-355-1802
  • The Red Cross - 580-355-5480, 580-591-1154 or 580-591-1151
  • C. Carter Crane Shelter - 580-248-0936