DALLAS (WBAP/KLIF News) – A Dallas-based non profit is helping the homeless community find a warm place to stay this winter with a new app.
The “Bed Availability” app will send an emergency broadcast on user’s cell phones to let them know how many beds are available at local shelters in real time.
It was developed by Our Calling and the organization’s Pastor Wayne Walker said 70 percent of the homeless across the Metroplex have cell phones, so the new alert system made sense.
“We’re able to send messages especially in inclement weather moments to let people know what the temperature is going to be and where a safe place to go is. Sleeping outside in below freezing weather can be fatal,” he said.
Walker said the app is a start but more needs to be done to house the homeless especially during extreme temperatures. He said Dallas has about 10,000 homeless people and about 2300 beds which leads to an ongoing inventory problem.
“Our unsheltered homeless community has grown 269 percent in the last three years. So, we want to be able to help address those needs especially in a crisis mode like this week even,” he said.
He’s calling on city leaders to do more to help its citizens who need it the most.
“If you look at how many new restaurants or buildings or Starbucks or apartments have been built…we just haven’t grown the infrastructure necessary to serve our most vulnerable citizens,” he said.
Pastor Walker suggests increasing affordable housing, shelter space and community outreach programs to help decrease the homeless population. Until that happens, he said it will take the kindness of average citizens to make a lasting impact.
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