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Salvation Army helping SA's homeless during first freeze

The charity organization says it is opening up shelters as warming stations for the city's homeless much earlier than usual.

SAN ANTONIO — With freezing temperatures setting in across south Texas Tuesday night, one organization is distributing supplies and hot meals to help people in need survive the first freeze.

Salvation Army San Antonio, along with volunteers from Gonzaba Medical Group, set up stations on Frio and Houston streets Tuesday afternoon, serving hot chocolate, soup and warm winter gear to dozens of people.

"We probably have served more than 100 this afternoon," said Brad Mayhar, a spokesperson for Salvation Army. "It feels like we're doing this earlier this year, usually the first freeze (is) in December or even January. So it could be a cold winter this year."

One of the Salvation Army volunteers was professional wrestler Melissa Cervantes, famously known as "Thunder Rosa."

"Even if it's for one day, just not feeling cold and hungry is so important because you feel like a human being," Cervantes said. "Getting the little smile after and the 'God bless you'—for me, that's everything."

Cervantes said it's a personal endeavor for her and her husband, and they work with the organization to help as many people as they can.

"My husband was homeless when he was young, and I help a lot of homeless kids and young adults, so it has a special place in our hearts," she said. "We're so blessed by having what we have and knowing a lot of people now are outside cold and hungry. This is just a little thing that we can do for them."

Salvation Army San Antonio has opened the lobbies of the Emergency Family Shelter and the Dave Coy Center for the public to use as warming stations, and the facilities will remain open around the clock. The Goslinowski Social Services lobby will also be used as a warming station and is available to the public from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.

The nonprofit is also accepting donations for winter clothing at the Emergency Family Shelter, located on Elmira Street.

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