Freezing temperatures arrive on Texas shores

- The cold blast has made it to the Texas shores, on Galveston beach where its few visitors are bundled up. A brisk, winter wind has been whipping the flags around on Pleasure Pier.

“Back in ‘79, it snowed real good, had a good freeze,” recalled Vincent Hayden.

Hayden is someone who knows the island quite well, but is now forced to live on the streets and deal with this cold weather as a homeless man.

“I’m broke down. I’ve been in a wheelchair for a long time. It’s kind of rough, but there’s places that help you, like I say, you got a few ministries on the island,” said Hayden.

Ministries like the Salvation Army which, according to Hayden, has served as his home for the last four nights when the cold began settling in.

“More and more people come. The colder it gets, the longer it lasts, the more the people come,” said Hayden.

With a capacity of 124, the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope will continue welcoming those inside as long as there’s a need to stay warm, whether they be on the island or just across the bridge.

“We’re very well connected with the United Way both here on the island as well as the mainland, and people contact them we’ll arrange to get them here whether it’s on their own power or we can make arrangements to pick them up,” said Captain W. Patrick Jones, Regional Coordinator in Galveston County for the Salvation Army.

On Monday, Captain Jones said they had between 100 and 120 stay in the Center of Hope and expects the same, if not more to arrive as this cold weather continues.

“Right now we’re the only shelter that’s opened on the island and we want to make sure we’re available for anyone that needs it,” said Captain Jones. He adds that Salvation Army typically closes in the evening, but they will remain open around the clock until this weather improves and the temperature begins to rise and stay above 38 degrees.

The Center is also welcoming any donations from jackets to warm clothes. They can dropped off at 601 51st Street, Galveston, TX. 77551.

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