Shelter at the Inn

Thaddeus Otto, Charlene Otto, and Jolene Balderas take shelter in one of the rooms at the Inn at Clark’s from the freezing weather that hit Monday. (Jared Van Epps/Wave Photo)

With state of Texas dealing with the aftermath of Monday’s winter storm, one place in Port O’Connor made a Facebook post offering their help.

Inn at Clarks offered shelter to Port O’Connor residents who were affected by freezing weather.

Charlene Otto, her husband Thaddeus Otto, and daughter Jolene Balderas saw the Facebook post and took the opportunity to take shelter from the weather.

This was weather unseen by Port O’Connor, Otto said, she added nobody really prepared for this.

Otto went to check status of her home to see any damage from the freezing weather.

“We had lots of ice going on, we had pipes that were being worked on. Everything was iced.” Otto said.

Buck and Christy Motal, managers of the Inn at Clark’s, worked closely with the owners of the Inn, Grady Jean and Kenneth Clark. Christy said she and husband were at home trying to figure what they could do to help the people in Port O’Connor.

The Clark’s contacted Buck and Christy to open the property, Christy said.

“We knew that we had rooms open, and we knew that there was heat,” Christy said. “and they were like, let's get them in.  Anybody that needs help and needs shelter let's get them in and let's just let them stay in the rooms free of charge.”

 Four families stayed at the inn, according to Buck.

Otto thanked the Clark Family for helping the people in this certain crisis.

“They're very wonderful people. I’m blessed, they have such a cozy heart, their place is wonderful here.” Otto said. “I recommend anybody to come here. This is just a wonderful awesome place.”

Other than the Clarks, members of the community helped bring in warm food for the families that were staying at the Inn.

“We've had people cook food for the people that we have staying here and donate it for free.” Buck said.

He added it is “heartwarming” that the community put these families in warmth and give them power but feeding them as well.

The Otto family received food from Rob Shimek.

Thaddeus said Shimek cooked all the food in the rain.

Otto said Shimek gave the family two plates of food and was originally going to deliver to their home before staying in the Inn.

“They ended up bringing us two plates and because of the generosity of the Clark family.” Otto said. “They ended up going ahead and bringing the remaining food over here for those in need.”

With many people in other communities stepping and helping, Otto said this pulls other people together in times of need.

She added the people in Port O’Connor are always lending their hands to help.

Employees at Inn came in and stepped up by providing water from their wells and filling them in containers for the toilets and hygiene issues, Christy said.

 In addition of food, portable restrooms will be available for the people that are staying, and more food arriving that evening, Buck said.

This whole thing wouldn’t have been done without the Clark family, Buck said. He added that Clark family has been part of Port O’Connor for 124 years.