AUSTIN (KXAN) — When Army veteran Ray Scoggins stopped by I.T.S-H.U.H. or In the Streets-Hands Up High Ministry in Bastrop a couple of months ago looking for help, he was out of luck.
At the time, the soup kitchen was under construction, and the shelters were full, so Scoggins went back to the streets.
“I was trying to make it out in my hammock, but it was too hot, and I almost got heatstroke,” Scoggins said. “The heat, even at nine o’clock at night, was 100 degrees almost, and I just couldn’t handle it.”
Luckily, for Scoggins, a shelter opened up, giving him a place to stay. However, he is not the only person looking for a cool place.
“People were coming (asking), ‘Hey, can I stay here the whole day because it’s hot?'” said Roland Nava, the ministry’s pastor, “I said, ‘Yeah.'”
That need is why Nava opened up an emergency shelter.
“To know that there are families out there with children that are out there in this heat, and that’s who we’re reaching out to,” he said. “I know some of the adults, too. We’re reaching out to everyone. We want everybody to know that there is a cool place.”
Scoggins is thankful to be there.
“When I came in here, I was so far down I was pretty much plateaued at the bottom, and it was like I had nothing left,” the Army veteran explained. “I think God was wanting to stop me here.”
Since being down on his luck since being honorably discharged due to medical reasons, Scoggins now said his future is looking bright.
“Just have to look up,” Scoggins said. “Looking up now.”
Saturday starting at 8 a.m., the nonprofit will host a fan drive and back-to-school drive at 987 State Hwy 95 N in Bastrop. They will also hand out donated bags of groceries to those in need.
Nava said the drive would be open to everyone and run on a first-come, first-served basis until items run out.