Mission and History


To promote self-sufficiency by providing shelter, employment programs and transitional services for North Texans impacted by homelessness.


What Sets Us Apart

The Arlington Life Shelter is one of the few shelters in the DFW area with a work requirement. The agency's philosophy is that in order to regain self-sufficiency, one must have the ability to secure and maintain employment to produce a steady income. We understand that many clients have challenges such as mental illness or addictions that must be addressed before they are able to maintain employment. Therefore, the agency offers a continuum of individualized services to increase the clients’ probability of long-term success.

 Services include:

  • Basic Food and Shelter.

  • Comprehensive Case Management: Individualized services are provided to identify and address each client’s barriers to employment.  The social worker serves as the "broker" of services for clients as they leave the shelter so that services can be continued in the community.

  • Employment Services: Vocational assessment, job readiness and job placement services are provided for each client once their major barriers to employment have begun to be addressed.  Onsite job coaching is provided as required.
  • Education:  Adults:  Mandatory education classes are provided three nights a week to help clients secure and retain employment.  Financial education instruction is provided as part of both the education and case management programs.
    Children: Children receive 4 hours of tutoring each week and participate in weekly family literacy nights.
  • Children's Services:  A case management plan addressing health, developmental and basic needs is developed for each child.  Implementation is supported and closely monitored. Child care for infants and toddlers is provided through collaboration with the local YWCA while school-age children attend Arlington ISD schools.  Therapeutic programming is provided for children in the evenings while parents are taking classes.

The Arlington Life Shelter has served the homeless since 1987. Volunteers led the organization until 1990 when the first employed staff member was hired. The Governor's Award for Volunteerism was received in 1990 for this strong volunteer commitment. The national Bank of America Neighborhood Excellence Award was received in 2007 for the agency's innovative services to the community. Most recently, the Arlington Life Shelter was named the 2011 Nonprofit Organization of the Year by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.



  • 1987 - Cold weather shelter begun at First Presbyterian Church by concerned citizens
  • 1987 - Agency led entirely by volunteers and 13 faith communities
  • 1988 - Moved to current Division Street facility opening Christmas Eve
  • 1990 - First professional staff member hired
  • 1991 - Recipient of Governor’s Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service
  • 1994 - Shelter renovated to increase capacity
  • 1994 - Employment program begun
  • 1999 - Project Link Welfare to Work pilot program begun for the Arlington area
  • 2000 - Recognized as Charter Member of UTA Service Learning Center
  • 2001 - Agency name (Arlington Night Shelter) changed to Arlington Life Shelter to better reflect the agency’s mission
  • 2001 - Telepsychiatry program begun for homeless adults with mental illness living in Arlington
  • 2002 - PALS (Partners of the Arlington Life Shelter) Auxiliary formed
  • 2006 - Recipient of Bank of America Neighborhood Excellence Award
  • 2008 - Outreach services for the unsheltered homeless begun
  • 2012 - Major facility renovation made possible by the Joe Barton Family Foundation
  • 2014 - Introduction of Road Home Tours and Road Home Giving Society
  • 2016 - Purchase of adjoining building for facility expansion and additional services


Mission & Services

To promote self-sufficiency by providing shelter, employment programs, and transitional services for North Texans impacted by homelessness.


Make a Donation

Now more than ever we need your help to continue to fulfill our responsibilities to the men, women and children we serve. We provide keys to success such as food, shelter, health and social services, etc.



To volunteer when the residents are present, volunteers MUST be age 18 or older. This includes food teams serving breakfast or dinner. This is to protect the privacy, safety, and dignity of our youngest residents.


Contact Us

Arlington Life Shelter, 325 W. Division Street, Arlington, TX 76011
(817) 548-9885

Arlington Life Shelter® 2012-2019