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North Texas Homeless Shelters Take Extra Precautions As Hundreds Seek Warmth During COVID-19 Surge

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - As the cooler temperatures come to North Texas, shelters across the Dallas-Fort Worth area are opening their doors for the homeless.

OurCalling expects to reach capacity Thursday, Jan. 6 and as the city of Dallas continues to see a surge in COVID-19 cases, they said they're taking extra precautions to be safe.

As the winter weather moves in and temperatures drop below freezing, people are bracing for the cold.

Some homeless people across Dallas are out on their own, while others are finding places to stay.

"It was real, real hard you know, on me. The sad thing about it, it's ladies out there too," said Lawrence Dale Matherly, who is homeless.

Hours before OurCalling's doors opened people like Matherly lined up to get inside.

"I appreciate what they do, for the homeless people man," Matherly said. "I have nowhere to go, nowhere to take a shower."

They closed for several hours to sanitize the building, they expect at least 200 people to show up.

Homeless people warm up at OurCalling (Alexis Wainwright - CBS 11).

"We want to make sure our friends have a place to stay, we know all the shelters in town are full," CEO of OurCalling, Pastor Wayne Walker said.

As people come in, the homeless outreach center gives rapid COVID-19 tests.

"People that test positive will be able to go to a different undisclosed location," Walker said.

The city of Dallas will transport people who test positive to another warm place to stay.

The people who test negative are able to stay and will have to wear masks and practice social distancing.

"They get a hot meal," Walker said. "And got a place where they can connect with services they need."

As people enjoy the free services, Matherly said it's a huge blessing to have places like OurCalling.

"I've been coming down here for about six months, I'm homeless myself you know," Matherly said. "I sleep out here on the sidewalk, under the bridge and the wind come under the bridge at 25/30 miles an hour and last night ya know."

OurCalling will be open overnight, they will also be open Friday since low temperatures are expected to continue.

The center said they are always looking for people to donate coats, blankets, etc.

f you would like to help, CLICK HERE.

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