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Lindsay Diaz and her son stand in what's left of their home after tornadoes tore through North Texas on Dec. 26, 2015.KERA's One Crisis Away project focuses on North Texans living on the financial edge.The problem's known as asset poverty, and it doesn’t discriminate. A job loss, health emergency, even legal trouble can be enough to plunge a third of our friends and neighbors into financial distress. One Crisis Away puts a human face on asset poverty and the financial struggles of people in North TexasExplore the series so far and join the KERA News team as they add new chapters to One Crisis Away in the months to come.One Crisis Away is funded in part by the Communities Foundation of Texas, Allstate Foundation, the Texas Women's Foundation, The Fort Worth Foundation, The Thomson Family Foundation, and the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

With New Building, Arlington Life Shelter Aims To Help More People Experiencing Homelessness

The nursery at the new Arlington Life Shelter.
Arlington Life Shelter's Facebook Page
The nursery at the new Arlington Life Shelter.

Arlington Life Shelter has opened a new two-story facility that officials say will allow them to help more people who are experiencing homelessness.

The new $5 million shelter includes more rooms to accommodate larger families. Bed capacity has increased by 40%, and there are spaces tailored to toddlers, elementary kids and teenagers.

Jim Reeder, the interim executive director of Arlington Life Shelter, said the additional space helps fill a need for Arlington's homeless population.

“We began tracking and we were turning away a lot of kids — 15 to 20 kids a day, almost — that we didn't have a space for,” he said. “The homelessness situation exists in Arlington. It's not as focused because we don't have an area where they congregate where they live in tents … but they’re on the street and they’re there.”

The new space also offers more educational and recreational spaces, a larger kitchen, and a computer lab sponsored by the Dallas Mavericks Foundation.

To help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, staff members will wear masks. Guests will also be encouraged to practice social distancing and their temperatures will be checked when they enter the shelter.