Winter, even in Texas, is a hard time to be homeless. Perhaps more difficult in Dallas where we can have temperatures in the 70s one day followed by a hard freeze the next. Cold weather is brutal—even life threatening—for those we serve. Austin Street works hard to ensure safety and warmth for all who seek shelter with us during the winter months.
One of the ways Austin Street does this is to encourage our guests to stay in on days when the temperature is not expected to rise above 40 degrees. Another way is by making sure everyone has appropriate outerwear, which is only possible thanks to generous donations we receive year-round.
Since we are primarily an emergency, overnight shelter for the most vulnerable homeless, all of our beds are occupied year round. Because of this, we are especially grateful to community partners like Oak Lawn United Methodist Church and OurCalling, who have opened their doors as overnight shelters during the recent bitter cold nights.
None of this is possible without support from our incredible community.
How can you help?
- Please make a donation online here: www.austinstreet.org/give. Our costs to keep our guests warm go up during the winter, especially on stay-in days. Your support helps us ensure a secure and safe environment.
- Give sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, or large cans of chili to help us supplement meals and lunches. Because we can’t predict very far in advance which days will be stay-in days, our regular meal providers often need additional food to make sure everyone receives a meal. You can find more information about food donations here.
- Consider signing up to provide a weekday lunch with your office, church, community group or family and friends. Lunches are prepared off-site, delivered and served by volunteer groups. It’s a great way to give back in a really tangible way, and is one of our greatest needs! Contact Lacy Montgomery, partnerships and community engagement manager at firstname.lastname@example.org for specific dates and ideas to get started.
Check out this story from Fox4 about our response during the cold: