Shelters Work Together to Work Through Latest Cold Snap

Homeless Shelter
Photo credit © Monkey Business Images |

DALLAS (KRLD) - Groups that work with the homeless in Dallas are working together to make sure people have a place to stay with one more night below freezing in the forecast. The group, Our Calling, says 10,000 homeless people are staying in Dallas, but shelters only have about 2,000 beds.

Our Calling designed an app to give shelters real-time updates on which facilities have space.

"We meet about 220 brand new homeless people every month," says Executive Director Wayne Walker. "We're growing faster than 95 percent of the cities in the country."

Our Calling is normally only open during the day, but the organization will stay open at night when the temperature drops below freezing.​ Walker says Dallas has not added any shelter space in more than ten years.

North Texas has been seeing the coldest weather of the winter, and Walker says a cold snap late in the season can be especially dangerous to homeless people.

"By this time of the year, many homeless individuals will have already gotten rid of their bags and blankets because they think they don't need them anymore," he says. "They'll try to tough it out."

In addition to staying open at night, Our Calling will serve dinner to homeless people Tuesday night. Our Calling is working with AT&T, which is sending volunteers who will prepare dinner and provide people with blankets and backpacks.

In December, AT&T announced $565,000 for 11 organizations that work with the homeless. That included a $150,000 grant for Our Calling for construction of a women's center.