TYLER (KYTX) - The Salvation Army is lending a helping hand to those who have no place to take cover in this freezing weather.
Any time it's below 40 degrees outside, the Salvation Army opens its emergency shelter from 4:30 p.m. to 8 a.m.
It's the first cold snap of the year, and Salvation Army workers know they still have a full Winter season ahead of them. And they're prepared for all that Mother Nature has in store.
"We try to make sure that everyone is safe overnight with us having more guests that usual due to the temperatures."
Community and corporate relations coordinator Chantel Millin says setting up these emergency shelters requires more than just extra cots.
"We also make sure that we have plenty of water on hand for hydration, as well as blankets, things to keep people warm while they're here. We make sure that our facility is secure."
"I never thought I would be homeless, but here I am." says James Hopkins.
He feels safe staying at the Salvation Army.
"I would be under the bridge, I guess, if it weren't for this place."
He says he's grateful for a roof over his head and a warm place to sleep at night.
"I am thankful."
He knows is could be a lot worse.
"Winter hasn't even started yet. And, there are a lot more people out there who don't have a place like this. And, I'm glad I'm not out there."
You don't have to go through a background check to stay overnight at the emergency shelter, but you will go through a security check. No drugs or weapons are allowed.
Millin with the Salvation Army says they usually take in between 10 and 15 people on cold weather nights. The lower the temperature drops, the more people come in. They can house more than 200 people per night.