People wait over 6 hours in the cold to get into convention center

For over six hours, a long line of people in search of shelter stood huddled together waiting for the doors of the George R. Brown convention center to open.

Click here for updates on this story

    HOUSTON, TX (KTRK) -- For over six hours, a long line of people in search of shelter stood huddled together waiting for the doors of the George R. Brown convention center to open.

Many said because of COVID-19 there was no room in other shelters and that this was their last hope to find warmth before the temperatures plummet Sunday night.

A staffing delay pushed the opening from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. As Houston prepares for a serious winter storm, the city's most vulnerable are just looking for a place to get warm.

"They gave out a list, a resource list, I called them and it's the same thing - everybody is not opening due to the COVID-19 restrictions," Houston resident David Barker said.

Officials designated the George R. Brown Convention Center as a place those without a home could find warmth and protection from the freezing temps for two to three days, staffed by city employees.

Irvin Smith said he's been sleeping out of his car after losing everything during the pandemic.

"Just too cold to be sleeping out of my vehicle at this time," Smith said.

The historical cold is not stopping some Houston families from spreading the love to the homeless population.

"Yeah, they had some snacks and something to just hold us over until. But then you have other people that [are] just passing out gloves, socks and certain clothing for a lot of people as well," Smith said.

People rushed out of line with the hopes of grabbing a donation.

"You know we only had 20 and the first 20 people got them and it is what it is. But at least, if you can help somebody, you're helping somebody," Eric Vanswearingen said.

The mayor said he hopes that with the help of both METRO Houston and Yellowcab they can encourage homeless people who don't want to leave the streets for whatever reason to come to the shelter for the next few days. Officials said with over 500 spots available you will not be turned away.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.