While preparing this report, I felt my heart sink as the data started coming together- 500% growth in Dallas’ unsheltered homeless population in just six years! I asked myself, “How is this possible?” The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is growing faster than any other metroplex in the country, and our low-income housing inventory is disappearing. Area shelters have been at max capacity for years with plans of future construction for the homeless community delayed by arguments over “where to build it.” COVID-19 has expanded the problem leading more senior citizens and families with children into homelessness. It seems there is no hope in sight as the population continues to grow at an alarming rate.
And then I am reminded of the words of our Savior: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” But He doesn’t stop there. Jesus then said, “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.” I began praying to the Lord of the harvest for more people like you, laborers of His harvest.
And the Lord delivered laborers. OurCalling has grown immensely this year. We doubled the number of female Care Ministers and Search and Rescue teams to match the growing homeless population. Churches, companies, and individuals dedicated 11,424 volunteer hours at our facility. Supporters heard our pleas when we served the homeless during the winter freeze and delivered thousands of pounds of food, manpower, and blankets.
Twelve years ago we transformed the model of a sandwich and a prayer into a strategic mission that is making a big impact on thousands of lives. Not only do we connect friends to the Lord, but we also connect them to housing, shelter, medical and mental health services, long-term treatment, and daily survival needs in a Christ-centered community. Our intensive outreach- both in-facility and throughout the city streets touches 10,000 lives each year. We start with personal relationships, connecting our new friends horizontally to professional services and God’s people, while watching them connect vertically to the Lord.
This report is a summary of this past year. We want you to see your full impact, and we want you to see how every dollar given, every hour served, and every prayer lifted contributes to a great harvest. Our success in 2021 gives us confidence that we can offer Dallas a better way- one that cares for our homeless neighbors and empowers them to live a healthy and successful life off the streets. After you read this report, please take time to ask God how you can continue to be used to make an impact.