POSTED: Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 6:08pm
UPDATED: Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 8:50pm
EL PASO - Being homeless is tough, but when you are sleeping outside, winter weather can be deadly.
"When it drops below freezing and you got a 20 mile per hour wind, there's no escaping that," Blake Barrow said.
Barrow offers up warm beds for men, women, and children to sleep in at the Rescue Mission of El Paso. He says, on any given night there's about 120 people staying in the shelter, but with winter weather headed our way, the number in need could be more like 150.
"In fact, if we have 150 people tonight, a lot of them will be sleeping on the floor. We don't have that many beds," he said.
One of those beds is already taken up by James Jauregui. He's been staying in the shelter for nearly two months.
"They help you out in a lot of different ways, with clothing, meals, and blankets. All of the necessities you need to get by here until you get back on your feet," Jauregui said. He knows, not having a bed or a warm place to stay can be horrible. Like many people now sleeping here, James has also slept on the street.
"In the winter time it's so cold you can't sleep. You keep getting up and trying to get warm, just waiting for the sun to come up," he said.
"Try spending a few nights in an alley. Try sleeping on the rocks. We have a lot of people where that's their life, they don't have any place to go," Barrow said.
That's why they turn to the Rescue Mission of El Paso, especially on nights like tonight.
"We'll be ready. We got plenty of blankets, and we've got warm food. So, if you're out there and you need a place that's safe and warm come over to the mission," Barrow said.