Emergency Inclement Weather Shelters Operating Across North Texas

Our Calling and Oak Lawn United Methodist Church are opening their doors for emergency shelter.

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Our Calling, just south of downtown Dallas, serves about 200 people experiencing homelessness each day. On Wednesday, as freezing rain and cold temperatures moved in, about 400 people came through the doors.

"On nights like tonight it's deadly," Our Calling CEO and Pastor Wayne Walker said "You know, people can die out in this weather."

Our Calling is one of the city's emergency shelters in inclement weather.

"We believe we have a moral obligation to take care of folks," Walker said. "Regardless of where they come from, it's how do we all link arms and make sure that they're safe."

Our Calling can house about 200 people, called "friends," overnight. That's only half the amount of people who flooded the facility during the day to shelter from the cold and freezing rain.

"It shows us how inadequate the services are in the city," Walker explained. "Not because the service agencies aren't working their tails off. It's just because there are not enough beds for this many people that are seeking emergency help."

Walker said the number of people experiencing homelessness has been steadily on the rise, while COVID precautions have cut the number of available beds.

"We already have way more people here than we can help tonight," Walker said.

Wednesday afternoon, other shelters with empty beds were coming by Our Calling to pick up people. Oak Lawn United Methodist Church also acts as an emergency shelter.

Our Calling has an app to report locations of people who need help getting out of the cold.

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