Oak Lawn Overnight Warming Station
The Oak Lawn Overnight Warming Station (OLOWS) is a response of Faith Communities in the Dallas County Emergency Weather Coalition (DCEWS) working together to provide emergency shelter for residents and individuals during life-threatening weather conditions. Our goal is to ensure that all those who need and want shelter in extreme weather conditions have access to a safe and warm space. The OLOWS will provide emergency shelter for residents and to those individuals that are displaced and in need of temporary assistance. Below you will find some helpful information as well as the process for opening an emergency Station for those without housing during life-threatening weather conditions. Please use this flyer to provide printed information to guests or clients who are seeking shelter.
Our Activation Criteria and Process
Our plan defines a cold weather event and sets the activation threshold for the Station at the following temperatures: 36 degrees and wet (with at least 20% precipitation) or 32 degrees and dry (with no precipitation). We utilize weather.gov for forecasts and the determination to open will be made in three stages or statuses. This allows us to notify volunteers and partners well in advance to ready them for the shelter. The three statuses are as follows:
STANDBY = in 48+ hours we see potential inclement weather that meets our requirements for opening
ALERT = in 24+ hours hours we see potential inclement weather that meets our requirements for opening
ACTIVATION = no later than 6am day of, the weather meets our requirements for opening shelter at 10:00 PM. We will send out the word that it’s GO time
To notify partners and volunteers, we utilize social media as well as internal email lists. Scroll to the bottom of our page to view the Oak Lawn UMC Instagram account. Additionally, you can subscribe to our email list HERE.
Meals and Donations
Additionally, during this season there are a handful of items that are most beneficial to our homeless brothers and sisters. If you would like to donate any of the below items, you can bring them to the church or Sun-Fri from 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM when shelter is not active OR at any time during active shelter.
On the evening of our shelter, we serve dinner at 7:00 PM and breakfast the following morning at 7:00 AM. If you are interested in volunteering to bring/prepare/serve meals for 70-80 guests, please email Cathy Bryan.
Information for Our Guests
If you are in need of shelter, you may call or text our OLOWS Hotline (469-389-1253) at any time to see if we are open for shelter. When we are open for shelter, you are welcome to check-in at 6:00 PM. You may enter the shelter through the double glass doors via the parking lot. During check-in, you will be assigned a specific room and cot and you be required to check your bags in a secure, locked room. Once you've checked your bags and seen your room/bed assignment, you're invited to join us for dinner at 7:00 PM, or if you wish, you are more than welcome to head to bed! However, our meal is bound to be tasty and hot! We will also serve popcorn as a late snack and play a movie in the community room. Lights out is at 10:00 PM. The following morning, we will serve breakfast at 7:00 AM. If we are opening for shelter that night as well, we will inform you before you leave in the morning. You will be required to check in and get a new wrist band when you return.
Information for Our Volunteers
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with our shelter. We cannot run this shelter without your assistance and we are grateful for your time and donations!
If shelter is open and you're interested in volunteering, you can sign up to volunteer via the link above (posted when open) If it's your first time volunteering, please watch this video to get an idea of what to expect.
When you arrive for your shift, you may enter the building through the double glass doors via the parking lot. Please go to the check-in desk and check-in as a volunteer. You will be assigned a station and given additional information about the shelter.