Lawton community pulls together to create warming centers
LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Southwest Oklahoma and surrounding areas are experiencing extremely cold weather, with temperatures below freezing and winds that can blow you away, conditions are too dangerous for people to be outside.
“What we’ve done is we opened up a warming center here at Lawton First Baptist Church. They’ve been gracious enough to open their doors. So, we can bring some of our community members our homeless community in, so they can come and get out of these frigid temperatures,” Clint Langford, Director of Comanche County Emergency Management said.
Organizations around the city of Lawton have come together to create warming centers for people to go to.
“You can tell that some of the folks here, they’ve been sleeping outside. They’re just totally exhausted and haven’t had much sleep. So, we’re just providing that safe space to where they can come in and get warm, rest and just to help out with their physical needs,” Langford said.
Meanwhile, Hungry Hearts Feeding Ministry saw so many people coming in for meals and warmth on Thursday, they had to have Lawton Area Transit come in to drive people to other warming centers so they wouldn’t have to walk in the cold.
“It’s just like I said, entirely too cold to be outside. We want everyone to stay warm. We lost so many last year and the early part of this year from freezing outside, and it’s just we don’t want to lose anymore,” Keshonna Davis Interim director of Hungry Hearts Feeding Ministry said.
On Wednesday, Davis said she heard people saying the possible places they would go to stay warm or the possible things they would do and that’s a big part of why she wanted to extend their hours.
“Just some of the things I was hearing yesterday was sleeping in the sewer grates. It was setting fire to dumpsters so they could go to jail. It was really heartbreaking some of the things I heard yesterday. Basically, by any means necessary, they were going to make sure they were warm,” Davis said.
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