Temperatures in Pima County have dropped below freezing in the last week and parts of the county welcomed the new year with snow.
The Salvation Army opened up its emergency overnight shelter with about 100 people each night seeking a warm meal and a place to sleep.
“We’re a little surprised we’re not as full as we’ve expected to be,” said Yoli Hasler with the Salvation Army of Tucson. “We’re not going into the overflow capacity that we’ve seen in past years.”
“Where we really are seeing a need is with families though,” she said.
When single men or single women arrive at the Salvation Army’s Hospitality House they are given a warm shower, a meal and a place to sleep. But when a family is in need of emergency overnight shelter the family is taken to one of the few rooms at the Salvation Army or to a motel for the night.
“We just don’t have the room in our shelter,” Hasler said. “Right now we are having to turn families away because we just don’t have the room nor do we have the funding to place them in the motels.”
The Salvation Army is in need of cash or check donations to help pay for motel rooms for those families, and for gloves, hats and socks for those using the shelter.