Houston braces for cold week ahead

With a nearly a 30-degree temperature drop Monday evening, the Houston Fire Department is offering some friendly reminders to folks using space heaters to stay warm. HFD says although uncommon, space heaters can sometimes overheat and catch fire.

“Always make sure that if you leave a room, turn the space heaters off. You don’t want to leave them on all night. Keep space heaters at least three feet away from furniture, bedding and other materials, which can catch fire. Also, be sure to use wall plugins over extension cords, which can sometimes cause them to overheat and catch fire,” said Captain Spencer Allred.

Hours before the cold front blew through Monday, two Star of Hope love and action vans went around town distributing cold-weather gear to the homeless.

“We’re expecting freezing temps the next couple of nights. For our homeless on the street, this weather poses a danger to their lives,” said Star of Hope PR director, Scott Arthur.

The shelter says their doors are open to anyone who may need a place to hunker down over the next several days.

“We are at capacity now with roughly 300 beds, but we could probably fit another 100 or so on mats or in chairs. Anyone is welcome to come have a warm meal, hot shower and a safe place to sleep. And it’s not just for the night, we also want to share more about our substance abuse programs and housing,” Arthur said.

Star of Hope says they are always in need of more cold-weather gear like coats, blankets, scarves as well as food items for the homeless.

Donations of new and gently used blankets and cold weather gear can be brought to the shelter’s downtown Donation and Distribution Center (2320 Lamar at Emancipation) or Star of Hope’s Cornerstone Community (2575 Reed Road at 288) during regular business hours.