Keeping Amarillo’s homeless and unsheltered population safe in extreme winter weather

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — People who are homeless and unsheltered here in Amarillo will be extremely vulnerable to the artic chill this weekend, but there are ways you can help.

The National Weather Service Amarillo warned of dangerous wind chills with the coldest forecasted for Monday morning.

However, Amarillo Police will be on the lookout for those in need of shelter.

“There are things that we like to do to make sure our patrol officers are aware that they can take these folks to these places to make sure they have a warm place to stay,” said Cpl. Jeb Hilton.

Cpl. Hilton said if you see someone who appears to be unhoused, call APD. It could save a life—especially as wind chills could be as low as five below—to 25 below zero.

“If you see somebody that looks like they are in an emergency situation, they’re out on the streets and they don’t have a place to go, you can call the police department. We’d be happy to come around and make sure that these folks get to the places they need to be we don’t want anybody living on the streets during these times, and we definitely don’t want to see anybody dying due to the fact that they don’t have somewhere to go,” Cpl. Hilton added.

Amarillo Housing First’s Code Blue Warming Station is at 207 N. Tyler, serving unsheltered people and their pets.

The warming station posted to its Facebook page Friday saying, “If you see anyone out in the weather overnight, TEXT 806.414.2243 with a location and description, and we can have one of our volunteer mobile teams check on them and offer a ride to the local emergency shelters or to Code Blue Warming Station.”

Cpl. Hilton continued, “The Code Blue Warming Station does have a place for somebody to go, they’ve got beds, they got blankets, they’ve got things they can do to make sure these people stay alive during these times and that’s what we want. We don’t want to see anybody going without whenever we have a place to take them.”

The station opened early due to the rapid drop in temperatures, and has been posting daily updates.

The Salvation Army of Amarillo‘s Public Relations Manager, Quintin Marquez, said they also have 250 beds available this weekend.

“Salvation Army just wants to make sure that everybody that needs a place to stay, considers us to come in and stay for the whole weekend,” Marquez said. “We have plenty of room. We have a dinner every night. We have a place for a hot shower, and we have a place for everybody to sleep.”

Faith City Mission said Friday it can take in at least 60 people with beds, plus the use of cots and mats.

“We don’t have restrictions. I mean, if they’re, if they’re out there, they want to come in, we want them in here,” Raymond Gonzales, the director of outreach at Faith City Mission said.

“We provide our guests when they come in [with] food, we give them their pajamas for the night, you know, they get to take a shower, they get to clean up, and they’re in a safe place when that happens. Nice heat, you know, our heaters are working, everything’s working, you know, and so and, and we’re really, we’re very blessed to be able to take care of them,” Gonzales added.


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