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Impending cold front prompts community groups to bolster efforts with helping the homeless

SAMMinistries and other organizations are taking use of an app that streamlines communication, and tracks bed availability across the city.

SAN ANTONIO — The City of San Antonio is partnering with several community organizations to assist the homeless population as frigid temperatures pass through in the coming days.

“It’s really important right now that we do our best to help get folks prepared for whatever may be coming,” said Maria Turvin with Yanawana Herbolarios.

Turvin and her team are preparing for the Arctic blast, collecting sleeping bags, coats, hats and soup packets for the homeless community.

“When we go out there, we’ll first off offer to connect them to shelter. We’re really just getting that winter gear ready for folks for whatever reason they may not be in a position to accept shelter,” Turvin said.

Mojoriee White, who serves as the city’s homeless services administrator, stressed there’s a coalition of groups coordinating with one another on the winter weather response.

She also noted many of the traditional shelters are at max-capacity due to COVID-19.

“We make sure that everyone is provided the appropriate PPE if that’s needed. When we have organizations and churches that decide to open up their doors during these sorts of situations, it’s helpful and it provides relief to our system,” White said.

SAMMinistries is working alongside community partners to conduct on-the-ground outreach efforts with the homeless community.

Organizations are utilizing a new app that tracks bed availability at pop-up shelters across the San Antonio area.

“In real time they’re saying, 'I’ve got two beds available. I got three beds available,' and that’s an opportunity for us to help keep our staff safe as well. So if the roads are bad, we don’t want staff going from shelter to shelter.”

The City of San Antonio has a Homeless Connections Hotline for anyone at risk or currently living without stable shelter. The number is (210) 207-1799.

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