‘Keep Downtown Warm’ Donation Drive Unites Businesses

Jan 18, 2013

During the cold months of January and February, five downtown bars and businesses are trying to keep the homeless of San Antonio warm with a collective donation drive through their shop fronts.

Overnight temperatures in San Antonio have dipped into the 30s in recent days. That concerns Lesa Ammann, the owner of Club Sirius on Losoya Street, who sees the homeless of San Antonio with nowhere to go.

"I close down at four o’clock in the morning and I see this in front of my face as do many other bar owners and business owners down here,” Amman said, referring to homeless persons sleeping on benches and nestled in the nook of a building.

There are shelters for the homeless, like Haven for Hope or the SAMM Ministries, but some homeless persons choose not to go. She said many use Travis Park and the nearby St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

“You know, human-to-human they’re cold. What can we do help that?” she began to ask herself.

Club Sirius, along with the Bike Waiter, the Texan, Boneshakers and the Frankenbike events are collecting blankets, scarves, gloves, socks, and anything warm you can donate.

Heather Monroe, owner of the Bike Waiter, said the idea to work together emerged over Facebook.

Both women say they were united through support from the cycling community.

“We’re a big family, regardless of what our competitive backgrounds in business are,” Monroe added.

Although they’ve only been collecting for three days, Ammann says she’s already seen big donations. “In 36 hours or less, I’ve got four lawn bags full of blankets,” Ammann said.

The Bike Waiter, Club Sirius, Boneshakers, and the Texan will continue to accept blankets, jackets and other items thorough February. Frankenbike will collect at its event on Saturday, January 19 at the Bike Repair Shop at 220 Fredericksburg Road.