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After the morning fog burns off, we'll see a mostly cloudy sky for the rest of the day. We'll also keep a 20% coverage of showers in for today. Highs will reach the upper 60's. Tonight will continue to see mostly cloudy skies with a 50% coverage of showers tonight. Lows fall to the upper 50's. A warm day expected for Tuesday with afternoon ...
Hospitality Center provides escape from the cold
PORT ARTHUR - by Lauren Huet
These frigid temperatures are harder to bear for those without homes, or who can't afford to constantly run their heat. The Catholic Charities Hospitality Center in Port Arthur opened its doors early today so people in need could get out of the cold. The Director of the Hospitality Center says she sees a much larger crowd when temperatures drop. Some come because they want a hot meal, others come for fellowship, or because they need help. Nearly everyone is grateful to be inside.
"Oh yes, definitely, because I have to keep my heat down because it's so expensive," said Bob Bennett, as he sat eating his lunch. "So, I'm on a fixed income, as you can imagine, at 78, so I have to watch it carefully."
The Director of the Hospitality Center, Christina Green, says there's a greater need when it's cold outside.
"We open our doors at 7 a.m. just to let them in to get out of the cold. We serve from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and we give out clothing once a week. Jackets, blankets, every day as needed," said Green.
Green says more people come every morning.
"More and more each morning, 10:30 a.m., by the time we open, the place is full and my capacity is fifty-five," said Green.
Monday, people crowded around tables piled with free donated clothes.
"A lot of these men live in houses, abandoned houses, that don't have heat and so they layer," said Vicki Bennett, a volunteer with Catholic Charities. "They'll put two or three shirts on, a jacket, two or three pairs of socks, and so it really makes a difference, because some of them would probably get hypothermia."
Bennett says they always need more men's clothing.
"They need socks really bad, socks and shoes, and jeans, and coats," said Bennett.
"And I got some warm socks. These soft socks are the best socks to have," said Stephanie Sclerandi, showing a pair of fuzzy socks she received from the Hospitality Center.
Sclerandi says she doesn't know what she would do without the Hospitality Center.
"And with the little check I get each month, it really isn't enough by the time I pay bills and rent, and my food stamps aren't that much," said Sclerandi.
People say they don't just come back for the food, warmth, and clothes, they come back because of the volunteers.
"They was telling me, 'it's going to be alright. Hang in there, we're glad to see you.' I think what it was the most, is that they was giving me hugs and love," said John Fisher.
If you would like to donate clothes or other items to the Port Arthur Hospitality Center, you can drop the items off at 3959 Gulfway Drive in Port Arthur. You can also contact the director, Christina Green, at (409) 924-4406, or visit the Catholic Charities web page.