Dallas Church Serves Migrant and Unhoused Communities

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Just days ago, Oak Lawn United Methodists opened its doors to migrants bused to North Texas from El Paso. 

Thursday, they’re being called on again to help Dallas’ unhoused community stay warm. Church leaders said it’s an ongoing conversation about how they’ll meet those needs.

The leaders of Oak Lawn United Methodist are as prepared to serve the community as anyone can be. Almas Muscatwalla is with Dallas Responds and serves as the Border and Government Liaison for the church. She said sometimes the motto is to simply jump in.

“The spirit that we operate is that when there is a crisis when the time calls for us to be available and be of service, I think we want to say yes to all of those crisis moments,” said Muscatwalla.

Just this week, a busload of migrants arrived needing assistance, only to be followed by dangerously cold weather and the need to open a warming shelter for Dallas’ homeless and working poor.

“Once we say yes, we figure out how to do it,” she said. “And once we do that, you will be surprised, miracles happen.”

There’s a system at the church – a way to make sure no one falls through the cracks. One level of the three-story church is reserved for migrants. Another is for the unsheltered in Dallas.

The frigid weather is expected to move out just in time for the church to receive another group of migrants sometime next week.

The City of Dallas Office of Emergency Management has also opened public facilities, including libraries and recreation centers, to make sure that people have a place to stay warm.

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