ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – “Life is good!” exclaimed director of Arlington Life Shelter, Becky Orander on Thursday.
Life at the shelter has changed as dramatically as the north Texas temperatures.
“Yes, very much so!” Orander said. “We were very worried because people came in with all — they came here for everything. When people are homeless they don’t have clothes they don’t have anything. And being able to provide just the basics is so, so important.”
But the shelter was dangerously close to running out of those basics. It’s is normally deserted during the day. Its clients either work or are out looking for work.
But, during the cold weather dozens of people huddled on couches or laid on bunk beds during the day. The shelter was 30 to 40 people over capacity every day the thermometer dropped. They begged the public for help with supplies.
“We are heading to the warehouse so you can see all the wonderful items brought to us,” Orander said as she pushed past three shopping carts piled high with newly donated blankets and pillows.
Orander rounded the corner into a large, high ceiling room with massive shelves at its center. The shelves wire packed with supplies. Around the edges of the room were stacks of bottled water and boxes of paper goods.
“When you’re thinking about hey, we’re serving one hundred people, this is what we need,” Orander said with her arms outstretched in front of the shelves. “We need these vast amounts year ’round.”
There are stacks of toilet paper and tissues, laundry, dish and hand soap. There are cases and cases of bottled water. One paper company donated pallets of paper towels and toilet paper. Another company is arranging for free storage for the goods. And, Arlington Memorial Hospital is offering to completely sanitize the shelter for its residents.
“Its fantastic to have this because then me and my staff can focus on the clients,” Orander said. “Let’s help the clients get back to work rather than we need more soap, we need more of this.
“We are very blessed. And we are very thankful to the community and all you’ve been able to do.”
Some of the favorite shelter non-cash donations include – gift cards for department and grocery stores.
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