As bone-chilling temperatures have left thousands of people across Texas stuck indoors without power and heat, advocates for the homeless have taken to the streets to find those unable to take or find refuge, NBC News reports.
Many Texans face fallout from the massive winter storm, like widespread power outages, transportation problems and food shortages; homeless people are among the state's most vulnerable population even in good weather, but they have become particularly vulnerable as the deep freeze persists, according to advocates.
In 2020, around 27,000 individuals experienced homelessness on a single night in Texas, which is a 5 percent jump from the year prior, according to the Texas Homeless Network's annual report. In the state, 37 percent of people experiencing homelessness are Black, despite making up 13 percent of the total population.
Emergency shelters and warming centers have been set up at churches, event centers and other locations across the state to ensure people without housing have a place to escape the extreme weather. The safe havens are housing and feeding thousands.