Consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic were wide-spread, but chief among those was the threat of homelessness. Lost wages forced many North Texans to face the real prospect of losing their home, while those already residing in homeless shelters or living on the streets encountered overcrowding and bed shortages.
Social distancing, among other COVID-19 protocols, forced many shelters to reduce capacity and eliminate or drastically reduce their volunteer manpower. This combined with increased sanitation needs, supply shortages, and additional paid staff, resulted in a spike in operating expenses.
To alleviate the overcrowding, emergency shelters were opened in Dallas and Fort Worth, and many shelters relocated their residents to hotels to make room for new clients.
Our Calling launched a parking lot ministry in Dallas to provide shelter and emergency services to those experiencing homelessness. A number of organizations and companies established pop-up locations at the parking lot ministry to provide individuals with medical screenings and health care, hand washing and phone charging stations, food and meal kits, and restroom facilities.