In Fort Worth, Bishop Michael Olson announced that All Saints Catholic Church on the north side of the city is serving as a warming center.
Several of the state’s Catholic Charities agencies, including Catholic Charities Dallas, have had to shut down except for critical services because of road conditions or other factors.
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston acquired kits with a blanket, mittens, socks and food for the homeless before the winter weather hit, Betsy Ballard, Communications Director for CCGH, told CNA.
“Sadly, this week we are currently unable to open our food pantries because even our main food supplier, the Houston Food Bank, had to shut down due to icy road conditions,” she told CNA.
“We hope to resume food distribution by Thursday, and anticipate even longer lines of people in need when we’re able to re-open. We will have to continue serving via drive-through food distribution in order to maintain safety during the pandemic, but we know that volunteers will bundle up and brave colder-than-normal temperatures in order to help people in need,” she said.
“Our power problems are so consuming that I don’t know if we have the capacity to interact with other Catholic Charities agencies,” she added.
In the Diocese of Brownsville, which sits directly across the border from Matamoros, Mexico, the local Catholic Charities agency has been aiding migrants and those camped across the border in Mexico for years, but the frigid temperatures have created new challenges.
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Sister Norma Pimentel, MJ, executive director of Catholic Charities Rio Grande Valley, has for the past several years been a visible and highly active advocate for migrants in need of humanitarian aid at the US-Mexico border. She said several hundred asylum seekers arrived at the border the weekend that temperatures dropped.
“Freezing temperatures at camp in Matamoros making tents iceboxes, causing unbearable pain to the families,” wrote Sister Pimentel in a Feb. 16 tweet.
“This child is crying because his feet are hurting from the severe cold,” she said, referencing a video attached to the tweet. “Pray the families don’t have to endure such calamities much longer.”