Austin Street Center and OurCalling have teamed up once again to help protect thousands of vulnerable homeless individuals from the harsh, potentially fatal temperatures.
Yesterday at 6 p.m., Austin Street Center (ASC), one of Dallas’ largest emergency and day-service shelters, and OurCalling, a faith-based, daytime outreach center for the homeless, opened the doors of ASC’s previously owned and unoccupied facility. With capacity to house approximately 360 men and women, the Inclement Weather Shelter will remain open today, tonight and possibly longer, depending on the forecast. This is the same operation that was used during the Dec. 21-27th freeze.
The Inclement Weather Shelter, located at 2929 Hickory St. in Dallas, has been set up with cots and bedding. Medical care is being provided by Watermark Medical with the SPCA providing pet care.
A few additional details:
- 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).
- Shelter guests will receive breakfast, lunch and dinner along with access to showers, restroom facilities and safe shelter.
- A separate closed-off area has been designated for women.
- To make certain homeless individuals know about the deadly weather, OurCalling will continue using 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 has stepped up its Search and Rescue efforts, going deep into the woods and under overpasses to find and take individuals to the shelter.
- Austin Street Center is coordinating a transportation network which includes the Connector bus, along with other vans that will provide transportation to those around the City who are seeking shelter. Individuals can also call 311 to request assistance to the Inclement Weather Shelter.
HOW THE PUBLIC CAN HELP: There is a great need for new or gently used sweatpants and sweatshirts, which are given out after showers. The public may drop off donations at the OurCalling center, located at 1702 S. Cesar Chavez Blvd. in Dallas, or make a financial donation at ourcalling.org/cold. Also, the public is invited to visit ourcalling.org/cold or austinstreet.org to volunteer or make a resource or financial donation.
NOTE: OurCalling founder and CEO Wayne Walker and Austin Street Center CEO Daniel Roby are available for joint or individual interviews. Media are not allowed in the building but may conduct interviews outside the facility.
LOCATION: The Inclement Weather Shelter is located across the street at 2929 Hickory St. in Dallas.