Our Impact Report
Letter From Our Founder
As we close another year, I reflect on all I have seen God accomplish this year at OurCalling. We have worked with over 10,000 people experiencing unsheltered homelessness throughout Dallas County, including families, the elderly, those fleeing trafficking and domestic violence, and those who have suffered untold abuse and trauma. We have a very complex system for helping people — using innovative technology, building trust, and tracking results. At OurCalling, we simplify this complex process with two primary questions. We ask, “Will you trust the Lord?” and “Will you let us help you off the streets?”
“Will you trust the Lord?” can be a difficult question for people who have lived through trauma, suffered extreme abuse, or are victims of significant violence. Some have lost their families and jobs and been dealt a terrible hand. Nearly everyone we meet has become homeless through a combination of three things: lack of financial resources, lack of community, and a crisis event.
I’m often asked, “Why do they choose to be homeless?” And I can tell you, after working with thousands of people on the streets, no one wants to sleep in the rain, be exposed to the elements, or suffer the abuse and violence of the streets. However, the alternatives are often difficult to accept.
One of the most challenging parts of our job is getting a “yes.” Yes, we want our neighbors to trust the Lord. Yes, we want our neighbors to let us help them off the streets. In the fog and chaos of homelessness, it can be difficult to trust God or His people.
And yet, by God’s grace, we do. In the past 12 months, we helped people exit homelessness 1,456 times because of a “yes.” Those individuals started a permanent process to exit the streets and start a whole new life. Pause and thank the Lord for that. That’s a ton of people who have found a new life and freedom through rehab, medical facilities, shelters, recovery programs, and housing. And each of those people not only exited the streets but took significant steps to start walking with Jesus.
The support of our donors is why we have impacted the lives of so many. When you give to OurCalling, you are not an observer but an active participant in loving your neighbor as yourself. Thank you for joining us in saying “yes.” Our impact is your impact.
“We want you to see how every yes you give – every dollar given, every hour served, and every prayer lifted – contributes to the ‘yes’ of our homeless friends to get off the streets and trust the Lord.”
Dallas has the highest homeless population of any city in the State of Texas.
The disconnect between the availability of housing and those experiencing homelessness is stark. Dallas has roughly 1,500 beds spread throughout six homeless shelters (not including Domestic Violence shelters). Yet our city has approximately 10,000 individuals experiencing homelessness every day. Often these individuals have been homeless for multiple years, rarely have family support, and suffer from dual diagnosis and comorbidity challenges. In these situations, housing placements often produce net-negative results – more adults are dying and exiting housing than are being placed.
The Reality of Homelessness
Being homeless at age 57 is like being 72 and living at home
Average of people who become homeless in Dallas weekly
Of homeless individuals are women
Of homeless individuals are veterans
Our calling is to glorify God by leading people to Christ and making disciples on the streets.
Our vision is to create a community of integrity where people are cared for with dignity and intentionally connected to the body of Christ.
In 2022, we helped people exit homelessness 1,456 times.
Clothing, shoes, & hygiene items distributed
First-time volunteers and 1,044 repeat volunteers
Directories distributed to the community
Locations visited by the street outreach team
One-on-one ministry conversations
Hotline calls received
OurCalling has placed more homeless individuals into stable, long-term programs this year than any previous year.
Our Placement Solutions team provides exit strategies out of homelessness by identifying program agencies best suited to our homeless neighbors’ needs. Some of these solutions include substance abuse recovery programs, detox centers, domestic violence safe houses, VA programs, family reunification, senior living, and housing. Not every program meets each individual’s needs. Therefore, our team calls, vets, and physically visits all programs to make sure they are successful and safe for our guests.
This year, we were able to track the retention of our placements, which has enabled us to evaluate our placement partners and improve our vetting process. This ensures those we serve are placed in programs most likely to result in permanent life transformation.
Not only have our Placement Solutions proven to be nationally successful, but it is also cost-efficient. It costs OurCalling an average of $1,000 to facilitate a person’s exit out of homelessness and into a sustainable, long-term program. Your support of OurCalling helps homeless individuals get off the streets by placing them into the appropriate programs that will empower them to live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
We met Lily in the winter freeze of 2021 – a 29-year-old homeless female, standing and staring at times for hours, not speaking. She came daily, then disappeared for months. The first time we saw her smile and slowly begin to engage with others at OurCalling was when she returned. The OurCalling staff saw that she gravitated toward art supplies and gave her a set of watercolors. That was when Lily opened up to us and shared how she ended up on the streets.
Lily was an artist, a graphic designer, who loved what she did, but didn’t fit in corporate America. She left her job and went to Mexico for a personal spiritual retreat – and when her money ran out, she became homeless.
OurCalling could see how much Lily loved what she did and wanted to help, so we provided food and other resources for her immediate needs, along with an outlet for painting again. We saw Lily’s journey from being catatonic to finding love again with art.
Lily’s final visit to OurCalling was with her mother. They hadn’t spoken in years. Lily reached out to her mother after being involved in a street conflict. She immediately flew to Dallas to provide Lily with the support she needed to get off the streets.
Glenn was living on the streets when he first came to OurCalling. He had a drug problem and lost his job due to it. After Glenn shared his story with us, we got him resources to help with some of his immediate needs.
We also started work on helping Glenn get clean. OurCalling got him into a rehab facility to get him off drugs. Coming out of rehab, Glenn thought he had a virus, but after a doctor’s visit, it turned out that Glenn was suffering from stage 4 cancer. A cancer diagnosis did not stop Glenn from moving forward with getting and staying clean. With OurCalling’s support, Glenn rededicated his life to Christ, started attending OurCalling’s morning church service, and received mental health treatment. Glenn is now off the streets and reunited with his family.
Glenn jokes that when he first came to OurCalling, he thought it was a “scam” because there were too many friendly people who didn’t want anything from him. We are grateful that Glenn could experience the love of Christ through the services that OurCalling provided him.
Interview with Care Minister, TJ
- OurCalling mobilized 55 staff members and 7 rescue vehicles
- Staff served for 2,820 hours and logged 1,020 overtime hours
- 162 people volunteered 641.50 confirmed hours
- 20,220 meals were served to 1,090 guests
- 11 partner agencies and 26 in-kind donors provided healthcare, meals and resources.
- OurCalling mobilized 55 staff members and 7 rescue vehicles
- OurCalling extended its hours of operation until 6 pm to allow our homeless friends shelter from the heat
- OurCalling distributed thousands of resources to help people survive the heat, including water, sunblock, sunglasses, chapstick, and cooling neck wraps.
At OurCalling, we seek to find solutions to greatest
challenges facing our homeless friends.
While some 50% of the homeless will be able to “self-resolve” their situation and another 25% will only require short-term support in the form of shelter or rental assistance, the remaining 25% will need long-term support or are at risk of dying on the streets. Often these individuals have been homeless for multiple years, rarely have family support, and suffer from dual diagnosis and comorbidity challenges. These individuals are not able to transition from life on the streets to independent living without round-the-clock support services.
For these homeless friends, we are developing OurCommunity – a community housing development located on a 280-acre rural property outside of Dallas. It is designed to provide long-term, comprehensive, and relational care for those who need a final earthly home. When fully developed, OurCommunity will feature up to 500 tiny homes divided into neighborhoods, each with 25 homes. Each neighborhood will surround OurCommunity’s central town square, where residents can access full wrap-around services.
We have been dreaming and planning for this community for many years. To date, we’ve raised $6.5M toward this capital project. OurCalling is committed to operating debt free and will build the community as funding is secured. We are currently seeking transformational gifts to make this project a reality. Your continued support of OurCalling through your annual gifts enables us to serve and disciple our friends on the streets now, as we prepare for this future expansion.
You don’t have to spend much time at OurCalling to know that one of the things that makes us unique is the way we utilize and create technology.
Over the years we have continued to retool and build upon our software, with an end goal of more effectively getting our homeless friends off the streets. About 80% of the homeless population has cell phones. The OurCalling app provides an ample selection of resources right at the fingertips of our homeless friends.
Our mobile app is being used across the country and delivers more than 100,000 referrals for those in need every single day. And because of the effectiveness of our technology, we are receiving calls every week from homeless service providers, hospitals, cities, and first responders, looking to utilize our software on a local level.
You can partner with us in our efforts to use technology to minister to the homeless community across the country. We have a vision to expand our technology to increase our national impact, while generating revenue to support local mission expansion.
“OurCalling uses technology to create solutions that address local and national homeless issues. We create products that accelerate social change.”
Join our Search and Rescue teams, prep and serve meals, sort donations, and work at our welcome desk. For more details and to sign up, visit ourcalling.org/volunteer
Use the remittance envelope affixed in this impact report or visit ourcalling.org/donate
Leave a Legacy
Add OurCalling to your will or estate plan. Contact the development team for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube by searching OurCalling. Follow us, and share our posts with your community.
Download Our App
Help OurCalling by using our app to identify homeless individuals and encampments. The app can also use your location to identify local homeless agencies.
Pray that our homeless neighbors receive the support and resources they need to live a healthy life off the street.
OurCalling is staffed by 60+ employees and maintains a Board of eight members who oversee an annual budget of $5.4M. OurCalling is annually audited, a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, Guidestar Platinum Rated, and a Dallas Morning News Charity. OurCalling is supported by more than 8,000 donors including some of the most recognized funding groups in North Texas – Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas Foundation, Texas Women’s Foundation, One Hundred Shares Dallas, The Dallas Dream Team, and many more foundations. OurCalling is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit (Tax ID: 26-4430860), incorporated in 2009.