TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — On Sunday, dozens lined up outside of the Salvation Army Hospitality House in Tucson. Most sought shelter during what is expected to be one of the coldest nights of the season.
"It's just terrible. I don't want anyone to have to deal with that by themselves," said Manuel Reyes Rojas.
"You can't get any sleep. It's very physically draining," said Curt Selvaggio.
Rojas and Selvaggio are staying at the Hospitality House for the first time. They are taking part in a program called Operation Deep Freeze.
"Temperatures have been extremely cold, so we call the program on. We invite anyone in the community who needs shelter during these really cold days to just come in and get some services," said Salvation Army Hospitality House Program Manager, Yoli Hasler.
The services are available November-March when the temperature drops from 35 degrees to 40 degrees with rain.
"We provide a hot meal. We provide laundry. They can take hot showers. We can also give them some clothing if they need that," said Hasler.
Guests are invited to stay overnight. On Saturday, the first Operation Deep Freeze night of the season, ten men came by. The operation was extended through Sunday.
"From what I can see outside right now, I think we have a few more that will be needing shelter tonight. We will bring anyone in," said Hasler.
Due to COVID, the Hospitality House reduced their bed capacity from 104 to 67. Nonprofit organizations throughout Pima County are leaning on each other to help as many people as they can.
"I have a family right now who is seeking services, a single lady with six kids. I just don't have the bed capacity or a room of that size that they need. We're trying to call another agency to see if they can maybe help us with that," said Hasler.
The Salvation Army is seeking donations, including coats, blankets, gloves, socks, and sweaters).
Donation drop-off sites:
- The Hospitality House at 1002 N. Main Ave., 7 days per week, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Naughton’s Plumbing, 6062 E. Speedway Blvd., Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information about the Salvation Army or Operation Deep Freeze, call 520-795-9671.
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