Alan Saintville needed to get out and get some food and fresh air at the OpenDoor Church Homeless Outreach event, 1701 E. Lancaster Ave., on Nov. 24.

“It’s challenging in the shelter. You get a lot of people in there with mental health issues and stuff, and the process of getting your own place takes a while,” Saintville said. “I’ve been staying in the shelter for too long, and I needed some fresh air.”

Saintville was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and now lives in Fort Worth. He has stayed in a homeless shelter on East Lancaster Avenue since June. He used to work in commercial janitorial services, both in Birmingham and Fort Worth, but is looking for work and a place to live through the shelter. He is taking it day by day.

The outreach event, hosted by Burleson church OpenDoor, 301 S. Dobson St., fed over a 100 homeless people in Fort Worth. The church hosts a homeless outreach event every third Sunday of the month.

Every month, more and more homeless people attend the event, said Kirk Peterson, an OpenDoor volunteer. He has volunteered for more than 10 years and has seen an increase in volunteers during the holiday season.

However, Peterson would like to see more volunteers throughout the year because he fears “more and more people” will need help – not just during the holiday season.

OpenDoor also hosted Dallas outreach organization Operation Care, which handed out goodie bags with toiletries, snacks, hygiene products, clothes and Bibles.

“Everyone wants to give back, especially during Thanksgiving with things centered around food,” Operation Care member Joseph Cook said. “This is when homelessness comes up.”

While people scattered for clothes, food and goodie bags, Saintville grabbed his food and headed back to the shelter, where he is receiving help in finding a residence.

“You just kind of focus on the positives. You have to focus on what you have to do,” Saintville said. “Don’t let some of the negative stuff get to you. There’s going to be obstacles along the way — it is what it is.”

OpenDoor Church Information:

Homeless outreach
Food bank outreach
Spark Worldwide
Become member

Church Address:
301 S. Dobson
Burleson, TX 76028
9am – 3pm, Monday – Thursday

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cristian ArguetaSoto

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. He can be reached at or (817) 317-6991.

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