DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM)- A faith based non-profit developed an app to help connect the homeless with emergency shelters.
OurCalling made an app that lists all nearby shelters. It also allows shelters to communicate with each other so they can find who has available beds and which shelters are full.
On an average night, there are 2,000 available beds in Dallas for an estimated 10,000 homeless people.
However, on a colder night there are several emergency shelters open.
Places like OurCalling, which typically operates only during the daytime, will be open as long as this weather continues.
Pastor Wayne Walker said the key is getting the message out.
“It’s going to be in the 20s tonight and most people won’t survive if they try and sleep out in that weather,” said Walker. “So the greatest concern is for human safety making sure people are safe and they can stay in a warm place.”
Non-profits said more than 70 percent of homeless people in Dallas either have a phone or have access to WiFi.
“Most people won’t survive if they try and sleep out in that weather,” said Walker.
Danyelle Flowers is prepared as temperatures get colder.
“I have four or five layers that I keep on at all times socks everything,” said Flowers.
Danyelle isn’t taking any chances Saturday night. She said she’s spending the night at the OurCalling center.
Although it’s not a shelter, the center will stay open Saturday night.
“We have lots of people experiencing homelessness and there’s just not enough resources for them,” said Walker.
Walker said these cold nights highlight a growing problem in Dallas, a lack of homeless shelters.
“There’s been 268% growth in unsheltered homelessness in Dallas in the last three years so there’s not enough room in any of the shelters,” said Walker. “We got a four to one ratio of people inside to people outside the shelters.”
It’s been over 10 years since Dallas has had a shelter added.
Walker said he hopes city leader change that soon.
“I’m always, always here whenever they are open from open to close,” said Flowers. “I’d rather be here than anywhere else.”
The app developers count on concerned citizens and local agencies to use the app as well to help direct the homeless to where they can go to seek shelter.