The temperature is expected to go below freezing this weekend. Multiple Dallas organizations have come forward to partner with the city to find a warm place to sleep for hundreds of homeless people.
Governor Greg Abbott has already put winter weather resources on notice, including DPS troopers and game wardens. TxDOT is treating main interstates and highways with brine.
Val Lopez with TxDOT said, "That’s what we’re treating." "Specifically, we’re focusing on the main arterial highways and as time allows, we go on to the smaller roadways."
The Fort Worth TxDOT district is responsible for the roads in a nine-county region. The Dallas TxDOT district is seven counties. If the winter weather hits, they will have spotters and trucks on standby to respond to areas where ice will build up.
Trying to shelter hundreds of people safely is more challenging because of the pandemic, but organizations, like Our Calling and Oak Lawn United Methodist Church, said they’ve secured about 300 hotel rooms to shelter the homeless.
Oak Lawn United Methodist Church Senior Pastor Rachel Baughman said the difference is between life and death when you are sleeping on roads in cold.
By early Friday afternoon, dozens of people were already lined up outside Oak Lawn United Methodist Church to get shelter from the cold.
Normally, they’d be sheltered inside the church, but because of the pandemic, several organizations have come forward to shelter them in nearly 300 hotel rooms.
"We’re doing it in a different way this year. We’re opening the doors by putting people in vans, shuttles behind me, so we can take folks to a nearby hotel and put them up in a hotel room for the night rather than sheltering inside the church," Baughman explained.