The past year has been remarkable in so many ways, but for the Presbyterian Night Shelter (the Shelter) in Ft. Worth, TX, it has been a gratifying and eventful year dedicated to eliminating the cycle of homelessness in the North Texas Area. Serving their community since 1984, the Shelter centers their efforts on both providing guests with immediate shelter and helping them find their own place to call home. Even though COVID-19 has limited the service capacity in the Men’s Center and the Women’s Center, the Shelter continues to change lives. In 2020 they transitioned 1,414 guests into safe and appropriate housing, and they provided services to 90% of the area’s homeless population ─ tirelessly guiding journeys home each day.
The Shelter continues to grow and change, especially as we all look toward a hopeful future. Currently, they are dedicated to their return to full capacity with an emphasis on sooner rather than later. The presence and availability of the COVID-19 vaccine onsite has greatly enabled these efforts. Both staff members and their guests are getting vaccinated, and transmission of the virus has continued to be minimal thanks to the vaccine, safety protocols, and immediate isolation procedures. The Morris Foundation Family Services Center has supported the children’s return to the classroom with a wide range of services, including tutors to support their academic performance. Even volunteer activities are increasing again. While COVID-19 put a pause on volunteer activities in 2020, the physical donations never stopped. And as restrictions have been lifted, volunteers are once again allowed onsite.
However, maybe the most exciting recent developments for the Shelter are the grand reopening of the Karl Travis Men’s Center and the opening of the UpSpire Workforce and Career Development Center. After serving thousands of guests for more then 32 years, the decision was made to completely renovate the entirety of the Men’s Center. With a focus on hope, dignity, and respect the new facility is brighter and more welcoming, with enhanced living spaces and a second bathroom for overnight guests. These renovations increase the Men’s Center capacity by 15%, and they provide the Shelter with the ability to serve 400 men at a time. The new Karl Travis Men’s Center also has an area specially designated for men employed through UpSpire that includes more space, increased privacy, and a dedicated lounge.
UpSpire is Presbyterian Night Shelter’s social enterprise program dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness by providing employment to restore dignity and provide hope. The opening of the UpSpire Workforce and Career Development Center is changing how UpSpire staff members can effectively lower barriers to employment and provide job opportunities to those who struggle to secure employment. This new facility provides dedicated space for training, recruiting, operational functions, administrative staff, and morning employee check-ins.
Together, TPF and Presbyterian Night Shelter continue to enable and expand mission in North Texas. With a bright future on the horizon, Presbyterian Night Shelter remains dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness. Want to help? You too can make a difference. Just click www.journeyhome.org/how-you-can-help for more information on how you can change a life!