Office of Homeless Solutions and partners work to bring neighbors in from the cold
About 700 people experiencing homelessness die from hypothermia in the United States annually, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless. The City’s Office of Homelessness Solutions (OHS) and its partners provide shelter all year round and particularly during the winter months to bring our unsheltered neighbors in from the cold.
OHS is looking for more organizations with the capacity to offer temporary emergency Inclement Weather Shelter. In accordance with Chapter 45 of the Dallas City Code, the city may make an inclement weather shelter declaration and open temporary inclement weather shelters during the winter when the temperature is forecasted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service to be 36 degrees Fahrenheit in wet weather and 32 degrees Fahrenheit in dry weather for 3 hours or more.
Businesses and non-profits are encouraged to apply for permits now and ultimately provide a safe, warm haven for individuals and their families as winter approaches. Approved applicants will be supported by the greater Inclement Weather Shelter working group, which consists of OHS and area shelter operators.
A single-family home, duplex, townhouse, or handicap group dwelling unit cannot be used for this program. Also, the dwelling cannot be within .5 miles of the ‘Central Business District’ with the exception of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center and other city-owned facilities.
Click here for an application. The temporary emergency inclement weather shelter program is governed by Chapter 45 and Section 51A-4.217(b)(11.1) of the Dallas City Code, as amended. Please read these provisions thoroughly prior to completing the application. Also email any questions you may have to [email protected].
Below are some of the operational guidelines:
- Shelters may only operate and host shelter participants during times of cold and heat weather advisories.
- It is unlawful to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
- Shelters must provide a minimum of 40 square feet of space per shelter participant.
- Inspections will be conducted on an as-needed basis to ensure the shelter is aligned with code compliance as it pertains to the condition of the building, electricity, water, fire safety, etc. However these are not generally needed if the applicant is in possession of a current City-issued Certificate of Occupancy and is not proposing new construction.
Together, the City and its new housing partners can work collaboratively to ensure that our neighbors do not become a statistic due to freezing temperatures. As One Dallas, we can and will uplift people experiencing homelessness by helping all get needed care and connecting them to available resources, while keeping donors, volunteers, residents, businesses and patrons, and recipients of assistance safe.