KATY, Texas (FOX 26) - The recent severe weather has impacted people in many ways, including the lives of people who live on the street. But homeless people in Katy get very personal attention from a local charity, Hope Impacts.
"We just try to show them that God loves everybody equally," volunteer Thomas Lemmons tells Fox26, "We care about them and they are important to us."
Hope Impacts does not have a homeless shelter. That's why people like Lemmons go from homeless encampments to street corners to bring them personal assistance. Lemmons made the rounds Monday following Sundays severe weather. Between the rain and the cold, the recent front was somewhat of a double whammy.
"A lot of them get their money panhandling, and when the weather's bad they can't really do that," Lemmons explains. "So not only is the weather cold, but they lose their income as well."
Along Fry Road, a homeless man who said he'd lived on the streets just 2 months, says Sunday was a difficult day.
"With all that rain, all you could do is just duck to wherever you could get to, without getting told 'get out of here,'" said the man named Bill. Bill says knowing the bad weather was coming, isn't much of a help.
"We try to prepare, but you can't prepare," Bill says. "You're going to be cold regardless."
Bill was with a group of homeless people when Lemmons arrived with sleeping bags, coats and blankets loaded in his van.
"There's a lot of wonderful people in Katy, and they pass through and they help you," said a man named Frank.
Lemmons says many who live on the street have cell phones and can follow the weather, but there are many who don't. Sharp changes in temerature can catch them off guard. That's where Hope Impacts can help, by watching the forecast for them, and bringing them needed supplies.
Lemmons said he talked to one man living near Mason Road at I-10, who said he was cold Sunday night, but would have been a lot colder if it hadn't been for their help.
"He was just thankful that we actually had already given him 2 sleeping bags last week," Lemmons said. "That came in handy for him."
Why are the men we talked to homeless? They will tell you that's a very long story. But whether they've been on the street for 2 months like Bill, 34 years like Frank, or 10 years like a third man, John, they simply say it's their least worst option. The generosity of others has made a difficult life manageable.
"I can't even describe how much we appreciate the help," John told us. "Without it we wouldn't be making it, for sure."
The people with Hope Impacts are always looking for donations to sustain their efforts, and volunteers are welcome, too. You can find the non-profit group's web page at hopeimpacts.net.