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Overnight warming centers hope to be helpful

Overnight warming centers
Posted at 9:53 PM, Dec 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-23 09:48:50-05

ROBSTOWN, Texas — Just as the temperature began to drop Thursday, a warming center opened up at the Richard M. Borchard Fairgrounds.

"We've done it before and it's a good thing because there's a lot of people out there that don't have a place to stay warm," Emergency Management Coordinator Javier Zapata said. "So, I think we're doing a good thing."

Opening at 6 p.m. on Thursday, the warming center will stay open until 9 a.m. Sunday.

In Ballroom A, visitors can find a place to sit and relax, refreshments and cots for those who are staying overnight. They're divided into a family section, a men's section, and a women's section.

“We will provide some snacks, some water, coffee, and one hot meal a day," Zapata said. "We will have heated meals available also if they need some.”

At this warming center, you are allowed to bring in pets as long as they're on a leash. Kennels are available if needed.

The RTA is also offering free rides to the warming center if you mention it as your destination and they are looking for volunteers to drive people back to Corpus Christi or elsewhere after the center closes, Zapata stated.

In Alice, you can find a second warming center that will stay open through the night. People are welcome at the Merchant's Building at the Jim Wells County Fairgrounds from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. Thursday into Friday and Friday into Saturday.

“We chose that because (...) that’s when it's going to be the coldest," Alice Emergency Management Coordinator Patrick Thomas said. "We wanted to make sure people had a place to go and get warm.”

Ruben Trevino, who is homeless, is happy he has a place to go.

“It’s something, that I can be here at least to be warm you know,” he said.

Alice, along with Jim Wells County and some other non-government organizations, helped to put the warming center together.

Pets aren't allowed and food won't be provided. However, if you need to get there, free rides are being offered by Rural Economic Assistance League by calling 361-668-3158.

Trevino found another way to the warming center, by catching a ride with Alice Police. He said he plans on staying as long as he's allowed.

"As long as they want me here, I'll stay here," Trevino said.

“Some people take it for granted of having a warm home or somewhere warm to stay," Thomas said. "Some people don’t have that option. We recognize that for our residents. We’re glad we’re able to make this happen.”

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