Our Calling, a daytime outreach center south of downtown Dallas, opened its doors overnight and is preparing to do it for a second night, if needed.
Thursday was the second-coldest Halloween on record and the 9th earliest freeze. The shelter really had get things in order fast. They just don't normally have to open this early in the season.
Every year, when temperatures dip below freezing, there’s a critical need for an emergency shelter.
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Wayne walker, the founder, executive director and pastor at Our Calling, says the decision to remain open 24/7 had to be made quickly before temperatures dipped below freezing overnight.
He says his staff has been working around the clock, sending out urgent messages to its team of volunteers to help organize emergency bedding, facilitate meals and provide 24/7 staffing.
And, they’re also in direct communication with the homeless community. Walker says a lot of people don’t realize most homeless have a cellphone.
"So, we have a couple of things. One, is we had an emergency broadcast system to send a message out across to the homeless population. But then we also created a app, and the homeless community are using this app to report themselves, to look for resources and really connect the agencies that can help them," Walker said.
You can help by downloading the Our Calling app and help identify homeless camps across Dallas.