Finding Shelter in the Cold

Winter, even in Texas, is a hard time to be homeless. Perhaps more difficult in Dallas where we can have temperatures in the 70s one day followed by a hard freeze the next. Cold weather is brutal—even life threatening—for those we serve. Austin Street works hard to ensure safety and warmth for all who seek shelter with us during the winter months.

One of the ways Austin Street does this is to encourage our guests to stay in on days when the temperature is not expected to rise above 40 degrees. Another way is by making sure everyone has appropriate outerwear, which is only possible thanks to generous donations we receive year-round.

Since we are primarily an emergency, overnight shelter for the most vulnerable homeless, all of our beds are occupied year round. Because of this, we are especially grateful to community partners like Oak Lawn United Methodist Church and OurCalling, who have opened their doors as overnight shelters during the recent bitter cold nights.

None of this is possible without support from our incredible community.

How can you help?

  1. Please make a donation online here: www.austinstreet.org/give. Our costs to keep our guests warm go up during the winter, especially on stay-in days. Your support helps us ensure a secure and safe environment.
  2. Give sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, or large cans of chili to help us supplement meals and lunches. Because we can’t predict very far in advance which days will be stay-in days, our regular meal providers often need additional food to make sure everyone receives a meal. You can find more information about food donations here.
  3. Consider signing up to provide a weekday lunch with your office, church, community group or family and friends. Lunches are prepared off-site, delivered and served by volunteer groups. It’s a great way to give back in a really tangible way, and is one of our greatest needs! Contact Lacy Montgomery, partnerships and community engagement manager at lacy.montgomery@austinstreet.org for specific dates and ideas to get started.

Check out this story from Fox4 about our response during the cold:

The 12th Annual Night with Norm Breaks Fundraising Records

On Thursday, October 26, around 300 people and special guests Rich Dalrymple, Seth Littrell, Dave Manders, and Eric Nadel came together to celebrate the mission of Austin Street Center and to raise a record amount!

Guests were encouraged to learn their gifts — provide life changing programs and services along with a strong focus on ending the homeless experience for the more than 2,000 men and women Austin Street serves each year.

Night with Norm is special as it provides an opportunity to gain a new and deeper perspective from sports personalities interviewed. . Norm combines his encyclopedic knowledge of sports with a strong focus on personal stories, creating an event that is enjoyed by everyone, not just sports fans.

Event co-chair Dean Xeros said “I’ve been involved with Night with Norm since the beginning, and it just keeps getting better and better. We are so glad to support and celebrate the life changing work Austin Street does every day to make life better for our homeless neighbors.”

Our continued thanks to Norm Hitzges for his legacy of support, and to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church for hosting us. The evening’s success reflected the generosity of our event sponsors and silent auction donors, and the hard work of our amazing host committee. Our sincere thanks to all who attended!

Special thanks to our sponsors and host committee.

Serve With Us this Holiday Season!

Austin Street Center relies on thousands of volunteers to help us care for the most vulnerable members of our community.

WELCOME CENTER SUPPORT
We are always looking for energetic, friendly, and flexible volunteers to help provide excellent customer service at our Welcome Center! Volunteers in this position are the front line for assisting client services, directing visitors, and answering phones.

INTAKE
Intake volunteers welcome Austin Street guests by ensuring everyone gets checked in and assigned a bed for the night.

MAIL ROOM
Where do people experiencing homelessness get their mail? Austin Street guests are able to receive mail at the shelter—which means we have a huge amount of mail to sort and distribute every day.

CLOTHING ROOM
This is the busiest time of year for donations, and we need volunteers to help sort them! Keeping our clothing room organized is essential to ensuring we can meet the needs of our guests.

GROUP OPPORTUNITIES
If your school, business, church, or family is looking for a chance to volunteer we welcome you! Group volunteer projects vary but can include cleaning projects, sorting donations, or organizing drives for clothing, guest supplies or move out baskets.

We welcome you as a volunteer during the holiday season. Please sign up at: austinstreet.org/volunteer/individuals or contact Lacy Montgomery, Partnerships and Community Engagement Manager, at 214-428-0201 or lacy.montgomery@austinstreet.org.

Please know: all volunteers MUST be scheduled in advance, and the calendar does fill up!