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Denton Opens 24-Hour Emergency Shelter Amid Winter Storm Warning, Pressure From Houseless Advocates

mlk rec center denton emergency shelter winter storm warning

The City of Denton has opened the MLK Rec Center as a 24-hour emergency shelter amid pressure from houseless advocates and residents who voiced concerns due to incoming freezing weather and a winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service. The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has now issued a Winter Storm Warning for Denton County starting at 6:00 PM Wednesday, February 2.

Related: Freezing Temperatures Coming To Denton This Week: Advocates For Unhoused Say City Isn’t Doing Enough

The press release published by advocates for the unhoused can be found here.

Local Disaster Declared

Persons in North Texas can expect rain transitioning into freezing rain, sleet, and snow. Ice accumulations of up to half an inch can be expected, with sleet and snow forecast up to 3 inches. Travel will be adversely affected, hypothermia is a risk for exposed individuals, and power outages are possible. Concerned residents can stay up to date with the latest weather watches and warnings by visiting the National Weather Service website.

According to a press release published by the City of Denton, “Central to the declaration [of local disaster] is the opening of a 24-hour emergency shelter at the MLK, Jr. Recreation Center (1300 Wilson St.) beginning at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 2. The MLK, Jr. emergency shelter will be operated by the City of Denton and is available to any person in need of refuge due to the hazardous weather currently being forecast. This may include stranded motorists, residents that have lost electricity or other critical services in their homes, or persons experiencing homelessness.”

“The MLK, Jr. emergency shelter will have restrooms, seating, water, pre-packaged snack food, and basic sanitary items available. COVID-19 precautions will be in place, with hand sanitizer and face coverings provided for use. As a 24-hour emergency shelter, the facility will provide cots for anyone needing to remain at the shelter overnight and will accept any animals that accompany their owners; however, they may need to remain in a City-provided kennel within the facility.”

Once the emergency 24-hour shelter in Denton opens, other warming stations around the city will also become available.

“To leverage available resources in opening this 24-hour shelter, the City has made changes in the availability of some City-offered warming stations.  Warming stations available once the emergency shelter opens are as follows:

  • Emily Fowler Central Library (502 Oakland St.) is available Mon., Wed., Fri. & Sat. from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tues. & Thurs. from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.
  • Central Fire Station (332 E. Hickory St.) is available Mon.-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • All other Fire Stations are available for restrooms, hand washing, and water fountain access only daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.”

Denton 24-Hour Emergency Shelter – MLK Rec Center

MLK Rec Center will open as a 24-hour emergency shelter starting at 6:00 PM Wednesday, February 2.

Restrooms, seating, water, pre-packaged food, and basic sanitary items will be available. Facility will provide cots for anyone needing to remain at the shelter overnight and will accept animals that accompany their owners. COVID-19 precautions will be in place.

Address: 1300 Wilson St., Denton, TX 76201

image credit: City of Denton

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