They say home is where the heart is, but that’s an easy statement to toss around when we have comfortable houses to which we can always return and incomes that help make those places cozy. At the very least, many of us have family and friends that we can turn to in times of need. Others do not have these luxuries.
Since its beginning, the Presbyterian Night Shelter has tirelessly worked to rid Tarrant County of homelessness. But the work doesn’t stop when the people are off the streets. The shelter seeks to find homes for these people in order to help them begin new lives. Formed by a group of Presbyterian ministers in 1984 to be an overnight shelter for the homeless of our county, the Presbyterian Night Shelter clings to many of its foundational elements. It offers spiritual guidance for any who wish to have it by having a chaplain available at all times and regular Bible studies and worship services.
The organization has no barriers, and they welcome anyone seeking shelter at any time of day or night, 365 days a year. There are no length-of-stay restrictions. The available housing is sectioned off for adults, families, those with behavioral disabilities, and veterans. Unlike other homeless shelters, it allows teenage boys to remain with their families so as not to separate them. The Presbyterian Night Shelter provides food, bathroom and shower facilities, toiletries, and clothing for its inhabitants.
However, the services do not end here. The shelter often helps the homeless secure housing of their own by assisting them in overcoming the obstacles that didn’t make permanent housing a possibility for the homeless in the first place. Professional case managers help those in need receive identification, birth certificates, and Social Security cards as well as put clients in contact with JPS, MHMR, and Cook Children’s Health Care System to hopefully sort out health hindrances.
Recently, the shelter opened a place specifically for women and children named the Morris Foundation Women and Children’s Center. It contains 40 rooms for moms and their kids where they can feel especially safe and have some privacy.
To get involved with the Presbyterian Night Shelter, one can donate anything from money to new or gently used clothing, furniture, home necessities, toys for children, and toiletries. In addition, volunteers are always welcome at the shelter. Whether you like to serve meals, tutor, sort through items needed at the shelter, or do something else, there are many ways that you can help. Every donation, every volunteer is heartily appreciated by this organization.
Betsy Beaman, the resource development manager, said, “The fight to end homelessness can’t be won with a one-size-fits-all solution.” The Presbyterian Night Shelter is not simply available for immediate help; they help the helpless for the long haul.