Sharing The Warmth Of Faith In Texas’ Coldest Hours

Warming Shelter montage: feeding, clothes, cots

Churches offer refuge and respite to neighbors in need when arctic blast comes through state

As winter weather descended on Texas over the last two weeks, hundreds of United Methodists from across the region answered the call to help shelter and feed their unhoused neighbors. From driving church vans through camp areas to transport people to warmth and safety, to preparing three hot meals daily for days on end, to setting up cots and rolling out the welcome mat at Oak Lawn UMC when the Dallas shelter at Fair Park reached capacity, United Methodists’ commitment to providing care for those in need seemed limitless. 

“During this latest winter weather, the most challenging aspect was accommodating the guests in an unfamiliar facility, 24 hours a day for seven days,” noted Ruth Roberson, the Plano Overnight Warming Station (POWS) Lead for First UMC Plano. “However, it was inspiring to see the guests make the most of the situation and help each other as needed, help clean up the facility and express their thanks to the volunteers.”

The collective effort of area churches partnering with city and county officials, as well as nonprofits like Our Calling, Salvation Army Garland, CitySquare Paris, United Way of Hunt County and People Who Love People, made it possible to provide warm and safe respite for so many who would otherwise have remained outside in the snow and ice. 

Learn more about shelter efforts in your area and ways to support this vital work here.

Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2024