A cannabis lounge in Wagoner, Oklahoma has lent itself as a warming station and shelter for the town’s homeless population amid a dangerous and ongoing winter storm, the Frontier reports. Budz Lounge on Main started offering food, clothing, and blankets on Saturday after a discussion on Facebook about the homeless population caught in the subzero temperatures.
Co-owner Sarah Hutt-Greenman said the business has transformed into a “warming station during the day and welcoming any overnight guests if they have a need, food and clothing.” She said they had provided food, clothing, and blankets to 24 people as of Wednesday, including seven children. About 20 people have used the warming station per day.
“We were watching it unfold on Facebook, people crying out for a need. We watched it for about half an hour and saw no one step up and said forget that. We’re going to cease anything we were doing in here and step and be what the community needs us to be. We’re going to show what compassion and love look like.” – Hutt-Greenman to the Frontier
The town does not have a homeless shelter and Deputy Wagoner Police Chief Tony Ponds said the lounge was the only option for warming or overnight shelter.
“We have people, unfortunately, who don’t have anything,” Ponds said to the Frontier. “We’re just glad Budz stepped up to the plate to do what they did.”
Hutt-Greenman said the community has provided donations of clothing, blankets, and food, along with the police department, the Toppers Volunteer Fire Department, and Toppers Neighborhood Watch. Budz has also partnered with Healthy Food Oklahoma on the effort.
On Tuesday, the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) declared an Emergency Energy Alert Level 2, which requires SPP to direct its members companies to issue public conservations appeals, CBS19 News reports. As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 2.8 million Texans remained without power due to the storm and below-zero temperatures.
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