Demand grows at Fort Worth homeless shelters as temps drop

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by JOBIN PANICKER

WFAA

Posted on December 27, 2012 at 8:11 PM

FORT WORTH -- As the temperatures drop, the need for beds at homeless shelters in Fort Worth gets larger.

"They need a place during the day where they can stay out of the elements," said Deborah Bullock, emergency services manager at The Salvation Army.

Inside the Salvation Army building Thursday, people were thawing off after a frigid morning. The Salvation Army is just one of three big shelters in Fort Worth. At this shelter, they were just a few beds from capacity.

"We were close to capacity, but we did not go over capacity," Bullock said.

The rest of the homeless brave it, like the few who live along Interstate 30. But it's dangerous.

"They choose to be out on the streets," said one homeless woman, named Kristen. "They choose to be out in the cold."

Jesse Reynolds, 24, wouldn't choose it. The 24 year old was at The Salvation Army for the first time.

"People do it 'cause they've got to," he said. "That's no life though."

Deqwana Lewis was lucky to find this place. She said she was rejected everywhere else, "This was my last option, so we came here."

If all beds are taken, the shelters have a pact with the city. Fort Worth would open up an emergency shelter, but it hasn't been that dire.

The Homelessness Program Director, Otis Thornton, wrote, "The buildings are very full, but are operated in a manner that is safe."

Deqwana said in this weather, being inside and having a home has never been more important.

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development reports that 2,123 homeless people live in the Arlington-Fort Worth area.

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