Based on the National Weather Service weather forecast, hotel shelter will not be open this week. However, bed availability at local shelters has increased. Please contact OurCalling at 214-444-8796 to get additional information around receiving a rapid COVID test and assistance with placement in a local shelter.
How do I receive shelter when open?
Please arrive in the OLUMC Parking Lot between 2:30-6pm. We will shuttle you to the hotel. You can bring what you can carry. Dinner and breakfast will be provided, delivered to your hotel room. We will pick you up at 8am the following day and bring you back to OLUMC.
A determination of opening will be made 24 hours in advance of potential inclement weather. Shelter will be based on hotel room availability.
Due to the pandemic, shelter spaces are operating at significantly reduced capacity. This means that we have to look at new and innovative ways to help ensure our unsheltered community members don’t freeze in severe inclement weather.
For Oak Lawn UMC, in a non-pandemic year, we would plan to provide shelter for up to 85 unsheltered members of our community during each night of inclement weather. We would normally accomplish this by using space in our church building and relying on staff and volunteers to support these efforts. However, we do not feel that during the pandemic this is the safest avenue. And yet, this winter we are still committed to providing shelter for our unsheltered community members so that they have a place to seek respite from dangerous weather conditions.
Our goal is to partner with other churches and organizations to raise $100,000.00 to provide up to 1,300 hotel rooms wherein our community members can rest, shower and maintain a safe social distance appropriate in the pandemic. We also plan to provide two hot meals during the winter season.
The Center for Missional Outreach of The North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church has made a challenge grant to match local UMC churches giving $5,000 toward this overall goal dollar for dollar (up to $50,000)!
On any given night, Dallas has more than 1,000 unsheltered members of the community. For these individuals, severe inclement weather creates a life and death situation. This number represents unsheltered community members who aren’t already in an area shelter, or an emergency inclement weather shelter run by the City of Dallas.
In 2019 Dallas experienced 14 nights of severe inclement weather. This means that there were 14,000 instances last year when community members needed shelter to avoid freezing temperatures.
This initiative is done in partnership with the following organizations:
Austin Street Shelter
The City of Dallas
Dallas Hope Charities