Salvation Army bed donation

Lawton_The Salvation Army in Lawton is getting more crowded than ever. One night this year, over 40 homeless crowded into the shelter that only sleeps 29. But the only place for the overflow to sleep is on the floor.   And for the last few days, that's exactly where they've been.  But Wednesday night, thanks to the citizens of Lawton, the Salvation Army received 24 more beds.

When it's this cold outside--the Salvation Army doesn't turn anyone away. Only problem is, there hasn't been enough room for everyone that comes in. Like Randy Mabbitt, 7NEWS asked him where he and a few others slept just last night. "Right here on the floor on a mattress," he said.

That's the best the Salvation Army can offer. When it's warmer outside, they count heads for beds. That's it. "When individuals come, we have to turn them away because we don't have the bed space for them and we can't put them on the floor unless it's a danger for them to be outside," said Capt. John Murphy of the Lawton Salvation Army.

Now, those who slept on the floor will get a bed. That's because the Salvation Army contacted businesses and citizens across Lawton and raised about 3-thousand dollars.  That money went to 24 new beds for the shelter. And those at the shelter couldn't be more thankful to see their friends up off the floor at night. "It's hard to see them because some of them come here regretting that they have to sleep on the floor and I talk to some of them and try to make them feel welcome. The other day they didn't have any blankets, so I gave them some of my blankets," said Jennifer Scott who's stayed at the shelter for about a month now.

With this donation, the shelter can fit more people than ever. So once it gets warmer outside, that's 24 less people that will get turned away. "We've pushed and pushed and pushed and we got to the place where we couldn't put any more beds unless we bunked, doubled them up and that's where we're at now. So this is more beds than we've ever had housing more people than we've ever housed," said Captain Murphy.