Roy Metzler

Current executive director, Betty Kay (left) and president Roy Metzler stand in part of an expansion area at the Monsignor King Outreach Center in December 2016. In January, the center will begin operating as a seven-day homeless shelter.

There have been many important days in the history of the Monsignor King Outreach Center. The first was a cold winter night in 2009 when Monsignor Charles King opened Immaculate Conception Catholic Church to shelter the homeless. Another was a 100-degree day in 2012, when we used a borrowed building to shelter those in need from the brutal Texas heat. Then, there was the Sunday in March of 2015 when we cleaned an abandoned “dog pound” to open a shelter where we welcomed and housed 55 clients for eight days straight during a late-season winter blast. In October 2017, we launched our expansion, moving from 42 cots to 92 beds and 14 showers.

But no one day may have been as important as a day this past August when the Denton City Council met and approved a plan to partially subsidize the Monsignor King center, giving financial support that allows us to become a full-time (seven nights a week) enhanced shelter. With this additional funding, we will not only house those in need every night of the year but will hire case managers who will help and guide our clients into housing. I wonder if Monsignor ever dreamed we would come this far? (Though he probably did!)

Throughout the years, your support — both financial and in-kind donations — has been sincerely appreciated. The thousands of volunteer hours you provided have made it possible for us to not only remain open but to expand. And though the city’s generous, but partial, subsidy will allow us to do even more, your support remains crucial to the Monsignor King center’s success. As we increase and improve the services we offer to our most vulnerable neighbors, we must continue to raise money as well as acquire additional volunteers. Increasing the number of nights we shelter entails more than doubling our volunteer base. In order to welcome and care for our clients as Monsignor King first dreamed, your assistance is needed more than ever.

If you have never volunteered at the shelter, I encourage you to give it a try. The experience is incredibly rewarding and safe. Please go to www.kingoutreachcenter/ways-to-help for more information.

There are many people who have worked hard for the benefit of the Monsignor King center, but none compare to Betty Kay. Her unparalleled love and compassion for those in need has been an inspiration to us all. Betty will be retiring in December, and we wish her all the blessings and comforts she handed out to others throughout her years of service.

We are pleased to announce Katherine Gonzales as our new executive director. Katherine has worked with Betty for the past six months and will continue to make certain we are a warm and friendly place for those in need.

The enhanced program will begin in January. We encourage you to come by and take a tour during our December Holiday Open House and see the great place you have helped build. Somewhere up there, Monsignor King is smiling!

On behalf of the Monsignor King Outreach Center Board of Directors and those we serve, thank you again for your ongoing support.

ROY METZLER is the president of the Monsignor King Outreach Center.

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