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Dallas Homeless Resource Center Opens A Women-Only Section

Tables and chairs are laid out in the reception area of the new women-only wing. New washing machines are in the back and counseling rooms are on the left.
Thomas Garza
/
OurCalling
The brand new women-only floor of the OurCalling outreach center includes a reception area, check-out area, washing machines and counseling rooms.

An outreach center located in downtown Dallas just opened a 16,000-square-foot space on the second floor for women only. The center will offer counseling and women who visit will be able to take showers and do their laundry.

The past year has been rough for 57-year-old Teresa Weed. Both her mom and boyfriend died. And just a few months ago, she was evicted from her apartment. She's also been a victim of abuse.

“I have gone through some things, but I thank God I know who’s on my side,” Weed said. “’I’ve got people telling me, ‘Oh is that all? You got abused? Is that all?’”

Fortunately, Weed found refuge at the nonprofit organization OurCalling. The outreach center located in downtown Dallas just opened a 16,000-square-foot space on the second floor for women only. The center will offer counseling and women who visit will be able to take showers and do their laundry.

Dallas has the largest unsheltered homeless population in Texas and many are women.

Wayne Walker, founder, pastor and CEO of OurCalling, said his organization is helping to meet the growing need for services.

"COVID has led many people to experience poverty and homelessness for the first time."
Wayne Walker, founder, pastor and CEO of OurCalling

“COVID has led many people to experience poverty and homelessness for the first time,” Walker said. “And even though there’s still a stay on evictions, there’s been a lot of people evicted and a lot of people lose their homes in just the last few months.”

Walker said his center has seen a lot of people who’ve been living in their cars and who are homeless for the first time. Currently, the center sees both men and women, which is why they decided to dedicate an area strictly for women.

“Every day we work with victims of human trafficking, sex trafficking and domestic violence,” Walker said.

“We want to provide a conducive environment for them to be able to share what they’re really going through,” Walker added. “And then trying to use all of the resources available for us for advanced placement. How do we quickly get them to a safe place? How do we get them into long-term treatment or long-term recovery programs?”

The center has tightened security. In addition to armed guards, it has escape hallways, safe rooms and shatter-proof glass at the entrance.

For Weed, feeling safe and supported are crucial for her right now.

“The main thing is they pray with me and they keep me going,” she said. “I don’t think I could have done it without the help.

Got a tip? Email Stella M. Chávez at schavez@kera.org. You can follow Stella on Twitter @stellamchavez.

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