The City's winter emergency plan has already been put into place this season because of our seven-inch snowfall three weeks ago. Now there is more concern for the homeless because of freezing temperatures.

All local shelters are ready for the cold weather and any influx of homeless people that need a place to stay.

"We looked at the forecast and saw that we were going to be dropping below 50," said Capt. Patrick Gesner of the Salvation Army of the Coastal Bend. "At that point it was for the next five days, and so we found out we were going to be in the 30s, which is unprecedented for this area."

Gesner is the commanding officer for the Salvation Army of the Coastal Bend. He said the family shelter and the men's shelter have room for about 141, which is nearly every night all year long.

"In addition to that we can bring in mats in a living room where we have a television, where the guys can watch TV, and we also have our dining room," Gesner said. "Add those and we can usually add another 30 to 40 men or single people to the shelter so we can house them overnight."

The City meanwhile says all the shelters in our area, including Catholic Charities, Mother Teresa, and Good Samaritan, said they are as ready as they can be to house as many as they can.

All the shelters are in need of donations to help maintain the services they offer, and blankets and adult winter clothing would be welcomed too.

"We have some blankets that we've stored up, but yeah, if we have adult coats, size large to extra large, XXL, XXXL, that would help a little bit too with getting some of the people some coats," Gesner said.

Salvation Army officials said you can help more than anything by letting homeless people know they have a place to go to get out of the cold.

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