AUSTIN STREET CENTER AND OURCALLING JOIN FORCES TO PROVIDE RESPITE AND SHELTER FOR THOSE LIVING ON THE STREETS
OurCalling will operate Austin Street Center’s original – and now unoccupied – facility to temporarily house 360 men and women during dangerous, potentially fatal weather
DALLAS (Dec. 19, 2022) – With the coldest temperatures of the season arriving in the next few days, two Dallas agencies who serve the homeless are banding together to protect thousands of vulnerable individuals from the harsh, potentially fatal temperatures.
Austin Street Center, one of Dallas’ largest emergency and day-service shelters, and OurCalling, a faith-based, daytime outreach center for the homeless, are joining forces to repurpose Austin Street’s former, now unused facility, to provide respite and accommodations for individuals living outdoors and on the streets in the midst of forecasted cold snaps of weather.
In June, Austin Street Center opened its doors to a new 60,000-square-foot facility that provides safe shelter with a capacity to serve nearly 500 individuals daily. Austin Street Center’s previous facility, located across the street at 2929 Hickory St. in Dallas is currently unoccupied but will be used as the City of Dallas’ Inclement Weather Shelter on an as-needed basis, helping an additional 360 individuals.
Austin Street Center’s team will conduct intake at the Inclement Weather Shelter, and OurCalling’s team will run the day-to-day operations of the temporary shelter. The Inclement Weather Shelter will be used only when the City of Dallas activates its inclement weather policy (when overnight temperatures dip below 32 degrees).
With a frigid forecast on the horizon, the plan is for the Inclement Weather Shelter to open overnight on Thursday, Dec. 22. Shelter guests will receive breakfast, lunch and dinner along with access to showers, restroom facilities and safe shelter.
To make certain homeless individuals are alerted in a timely fashion, OurCalling will use its proprietary technology known as the Homeless Emergency Broadcast System to send text messages instructing them to head to the Inclement Weather Shelter at 2929 Hickory St. in Dallas. Also, OurCalling will step up its Search and Rescue efforts, going deep into the woods and under overpasses to find and take individuals to the shelter.
ABOUT AUSTIN STREET CENTER
For 40 years, Austin Street Center has worked tirelessly to bring an end to homelessness in North Texas. As one of Dallas’ largest emergency shelters, Austin Street provides basic needs and essential support services such as onsite education and employment services, individualized case management, a medical respite program, and access to permanent housing. Austin Street serves two highly vulnerable populations – men 45 and older; and women 18 and older, many of whom also suffer from addiction, victimization, or the unexpected loss of resources. Austin Street’s mission is to provide safe shelter and meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable homeless. Austin Street Center’s goal is to ensure that every homeless person who comes to Austin Street finds hope, support, and the resources they need to transition out of homelessness.
OurCalling is a faith-based, daytime outreach center for the unsheltered homeless. Located south of Downtown Dallas, the nonprofit currently serves more than 400 homeless men and women a day. OurCalling also offers various unique and first-of-its-kind services to Dallas’ homeless population, including zero-barrier entry (no ID required), private locking shower rooms, publicly accessible toilets, and laundry services (provided by staff and volunteers). The center also has private counseling rooms, classrooms, a worship center, and most importantly, space for training, educating, collaborating, and investing in long-term change, including exiting homelessness and abusive situations. Each day, OurCalling encounters victims of sex trafficking, drug trafficking, labor trafficking, and domestic violence. The center brings in services provided by community partners such as Parkland, North Texas Food Bank, the Veterans Association, Dallas County Housing, ID Services, Metrocare, and CitySquare. Learn more at ourcalling.org.