HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — The Rio Grande Valley will see freezing temperatures this weekend and as shelters prepare to open their doors, they are keeping in mind the spread of COVID-19.
Executive director for Loaves and Fishes, Bill Reagan said they will be opening their doors no matter what, but they had to adjust due to COVID-19 to fill the need this winter season.
“If somebody comes in from the cold, we will welcome them, but instead of them going into the shelter we will have cots out here in the lobby,” said Reagan.
Reagan said they are open all year and have female and male attendants present around the clock.
Similarly, the Ozanam Center in Brownsville says they have staff enforcing social distancing.
“We have caseworkers walking around letting everyone know that they have to be social spacing between every and each one,” said executive director Victor Maldonado.
The Ozanam is also keeping one empty bed between available beds and has a pharmacy administering rapid COVID-19 tests at the door.
“We also take the temperature in the mornings, afternoons, and at night before they go to bed,” said Maldonado.
Smaller shelters like the Lucero Del Norte community church say they will have lower capacity than usual.
“It’s a small church we can’t occupy too many people,” said Pastor Roy Montez. “Our concern is really the children if they don’t a shelter during difficult times and from the weather.”
Reagan said he has seen many homes catch on fire in cold weather due to space heaters and worries about it each time cold weather comes through.
“For folks who are under those kinds of circumstances who are not necessarily homeless but do not have a warm place to stay, I want to encourage them on coming into the shelter,” said Reagan.
Mercedes fire chief Javier Campos said the city will decide Wednesday if they will be opening the Mercedes dome center for shelter this weekend.
Both Loaves and Fishes, as well as the Ozanam center, have said they will take in any migrants needing somewhere to stay.
Below is a list of shelters opening this upcoming weekend:
656 North Minnesota Ave
Shelter accepting donations.
Main phone number: 956-831-6331, after 6 p.m., call 589-8084
Loaves and Fishes
514 South E St
Shelter closes at 11 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13.
Phone number: 956-423-1014
Lucero Del Norte Community Church
5806 Lucero Del Norte St
Phone Number: 956-490-7476
Pecan and 23rd St
Phone number: 956-682-1468