FORT WORTH- The original day shelter for Fort Worth's homeless community on Lancaster Avenue is closing its door next week.
The Day Resource Center, commonly called the DRC, has revamped its mission in recent years, and executive director Bruce Frankel says now is the right time to transition away from a shelter after 18 years.
"It's bittersweet. We've helped up to 350 folks a day here," Frankel said on Tuesday evening.
Unlike overnight shelters, the DRC focused almost entirely on meeting the day-to-day needs of the 2,000-plus people that Frankel estimates live along Lancaster.
There are showers, mail services, computers, and everything in between. But the services were only available during the day, and that was intentional.
"We saw a critical need 18 years ago," says Frankel. "During the day, it was an awful situation. A lot of people were just wandering around, regardless of whether it was 110 degrees or 26 and raining."
He says their organization's focus is now on other needs of the homeless and low income, including housing.
A woman calling herself 'Callie,' who lives almost directly in front of the shelter, says it has been a lifesaver for her during the past year.
"I can get a roof, take a shower, and chit chat with a few of the workers I like," she said.
She says she has been on the streets since relocating from Los Angeles and going through a second divorce.
But Callie and others won't be left without anywhere to turn.
A new day center called the True Worth Place, is set to open later this month.
It will offer most of the same services as the DRC, and Frankel says some of his staff has already been hired on there to help smooth the transition.
"We've been planning for this for a while. It's a good thing," he says.
For more information on the new center, check out the Facebook page and volunteer opportunities.