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HOUSTON As the hard freeze descends upon Houston, the Star of Hope Emergency Shelters are already reporting capacity crowds.

We try never to turn anyone away, says Mary Chapman Cantu, Vice President of Star of Hope Development. So after our beds are full, we turn to the alternative available floor space.

The Downtown Men s Center reports that all of its 300 beds are being utilized and expects an additional 50-100 homeless men to spend the night on the chapel or cafeteria floor. Blocks away, the 278-bed Star of Hope Women and Family Emergency Center is at capacity and will host an extra 50 100 women and children on the large atrium floor inside the warm shelter.

We d love to supply each one of our overflow guests with a soft bed mat but we simply don t have enough, said Cantu. Between the Women and Family Shelter and the Men s Center, we could use about 100 more.

Sleeping bags are also in short supply. The Mission s Love In Action Van distributes the coveted bags as often as they are available to the many hundreds of hard core homeless who insist on toughing out the cold weather under a bridge or overpass.

Donations of sleeping bags, soft bed mats, blankets, warm coats and gloves are welcomed at the Star of Hope Men s Center at 1811 Ruiz during business hours. For more information, go to sohmission.org.
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