DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A faith-based nonprofit organization has developed an app to help connect homeless people to emergency shelters.
OurCalling has created an application listing all the nearby shelters. This also allows the shelters to communicate with each other so that they can find who has available beds and which shelters are full.
On average, 2,000 beds are available in Dallas for about 10,000 homeless people.
However, on a colder night, several emergency shelters are open.
Places like OurCalling, which usually only operates during the day, will be open as long as the weather lasts.
Pastor Wayne Walker said the key was getting the message across.
"It will be in the 20s tonight and most people will not survive if they try to sleep by this time," said Walker. "So, the biggest concern is about the safety of people, making sure people are safe and can stay in a warm place."
Non-profit organizations said more than 70 percent of homeless people in Dallas had a phone or had access to WiFi.
"Most people will not survive if they try to sleep by that time," Walker said.
Danyelle Flowers is prepared when temperatures get colder.
"I have four or five layers on which I constantly keep socks," said Flowers.
Danyelle takes no chances Saturday night. She said she was spending the night at OurCalling Center.
Although it is not a shelter, the center will remain open on Saturday evening.
"We have a lot of homeless people and there are just not enough resources for them," Walker said.
Walker said that these cold nights highlight a growing problem in Dallas, the lack of shelter for homeless people.
"There has been a 268% increase in the number of homeless homeless people in Dallas over the last three years, so there is not enough shelter space," Walker said. "We had a ratio of four to one of people inside people on the outside shelters."
It's been more than 10 years since a shelter was added to Dallas.
Walker said he hoped the municipal leader would change soon.
"I am always, always there when they are open from opening to closing," said Flowers. "I'd rather be here than anywhere else."
Application developers rely on local citizens and agencies to use the app and direct homeless people to where they can seek refuge.