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PRESBYTERIAN NIGHT SHELTER: Even Now, Accelerating the Journey Home

Photo by Jenny Spencer

The largest provider of services to those experiencing homelessness, Presbyterian Night Shelter has worked tirelessly to eliminate the cycle of homelessness in Tarrant County since 1984. Originally started by a group of Presbyterian churches as an overnight shelter for men, women, and children experiencing homelessness, they continue to provide emergency overnight shelter for ANYONE who needs it, but they are also just as focused on helping each of their guests find sustainable housing.

But make no mistake, it’s not just about meeting needs, it’s about changing an entire community. Even now, in the middle of this pandemic, their 360-degree approach, designed to address their guests’ challenges from a place of stability to break the cycle of homelessness is not only preserving but transforming the lives of this vulnerable population. This approach consists of the following three elements:

  • EMERGENCY SHELTER: Presbyterian Night Shelter is a low-barrier, 24/7 organization that works with guests to meet immediate physical needs like food and hygiene, so the guest can focus on getting into sustainable housing as quickly as possible. Their multiple facilities are designed to support single individuals, families, veterans, and those struggling with mental health issues.
  • HOUSING ASSISTANCE: Dedicated to removing barriers from housing, Presbyterian Night Shelter’s comprehensive approach to housing assistance focuses on obtaining appropriate documentation, addressing challenges that cause homelessness, and their FIRE (Family and Individual Rapid Exit) program.
  • EMPLOYMENT: Their social enterprise program provides employment for their guests, and it includes benefits, healthcare, and job skills training.

Like other similar organizations throughout our country, Presbyterian Night Shelter is currently navigating uncharted waters while they aggressively work to mitigate the effect of this pandemic. And it’s not always easy.

However, don’t despair, there’s good news too! Their guests remain healthy as the one identified case was quickly identified and isolated. Presbyterian Night Shelter has experienced a surprising increase in donations, even receiving some donations in the form of stimulus checks. Since the start of this pandemic, they have seen an increased need for lunches, and thanks to the increased generosity of companies and individuals, they have been able to step up and meet this demand. Additionally, as social distancing made space an issue, the City of Fort Worth opened an overflow shelter at The Fort Worth Convention Center to accommodate displaced guests.  Just as this organization has wrapped its arms around the homeless for many years, the community in Ft. Worth, TX is now giving back to say “we’ve got you!”

TPF is proud to partner with Presbyterian Night Shelter and support them as they strive to break the cycle of homelessness. COVID-19 has changed all of us, and it continues to ravage the most defenseless among us. If you would like to help, there are always needs for everything from sunscreen to sandwiches. Simply CLICK HERE for more information on how you can donate and support the truly herculean efforts of this community changing organization.