DALLAS - Volunteers opened the doors of churches and community organizations overnight to get people in from the bitter cold.
The shelter at the Oak Lawn United Methodist Church provided a warm meal and a comfortable place to sleep for more than 100 people Sunday night.
The church is not zoned for housing and could face a fine from the city. But with temperatures below freezing, staff members said they are willing to pay if it means potentially saving a life.
Several people who took advantage of the overnight warming station said they are grateful. One man told FOX 4 he’d otherwise be on the streets.
“When people are sitting at home watching this and sitting in the comfort of their home and in the warmth, just know if you… 30 minutes out here and one day and in the middle of the morning. And just step outside and stand there for 30 minutes and you will see how we feel,” he said.
Oak Lawn United Methodist Church has opened its doors at 3014 Oak Lawn Avenue to the homeless 18 times since November because of the extreme cold.
In Garland, the Axe Memorial United Methodist Church at 1700 Kingsley Road also opened its doors as part of a program called Glows. A coalition of churches and other agencies use shuttles to pick up the homeless and their pets and bring them inside.
And in Plano, the Salvation Army-Plano opened a warming station at 3528 14th Street on Sunday.
The churches and shelters are asking for volunteers and donations of blankets, coats, gloves, socks and underwear.
All of the locations plan to stay open for the homeless through Monday night.