South Texas has experienced freezing rain, winter weather advisories and cold, blustering winds in the past several weeks, causing many school districts to close their doors or delay classes.
San Antonio and Corpus Christi offer numerous safe havens for the homeless in various rescue missions and homes for women and children, but the counties in between have very few options for those looking for a refuge from the cold.
The Beeville Vineyard is one place that welcomes those in need of help, with open arms.
Director Lupe Sanchez said the Vineyard can provide people with a place to stay for about two nights at a time, before finding a shelter in Corpus or San Antonio to send them to.
“The closest shelters are in Corpus and San Antonio, but we do everything we can when someone comes to us for help,” she said. “We offer food, maybe clothing or blankets, whatever we have.”
Sanchez said they haven’t seen an increase in people coming in because of the weather, but she hopes that those who need help know that the Vineyard is there.
“I have always wanted to have somewhere—I picture a small apartment or those homes like the ones built for oil field workers—where we could put people up for a few nights... a woman who was kicked out by her boyfriend, or a family who was evicted, maybe they’re waiting on a paycheck to pay their bills,” Sanchez said.
With the only long term options being hundreds of miles away, Sanchez said that transportation is a big issue. “If we had some sort of public transportation system, we could send people to shelters right away.”
The Beeville Vineyard is located at 210 N. Monroe in Beeville, and welcomes those in need of help.
Lindsey Shaffer is the regional editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 119, or at regional@mySouTex.com.