Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Interfaith Seder Focusing on Poverty

Jews, Christians and Muslims
sitting around one table to discuss poverty
Monday night, MDHA President and CEO, Cindy J. Crain, and I had the great pleasure of attending the Jewish Community Relations Council 3rd Annual Interfaith Seder at Congregation Anshai Torah in Plano. The theme this year was "Confronting Poverty". The purpose of this inspiring event was to use the traditional Seder meal, which Jews practice on the first two nights of Passover, as a model to highlight and indeed confront the issue of poverty in Greater Dallas. Many people in Dallas remain virtual slaves to their difficult circumstances, just as in the Passover story the Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt.

Susan Hoff
The Seder was led by Congregation Anshai Torah's Senior Rabbi, Stefan Weinberg, and included readers from the clergy of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities. Our good friend, Susan Hoff, CSO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, was the keynote speaker. She urged those present to be mindful of the fact that for too many people the American promise - that if you work hard, you can rise out of poverty - is slipping away. She reminded all of us that through collective action we can change this.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Lecture and Discussion - The Victimization Experiences and Health Challenges of Women Who are Homeless - 4/10/15 - 12-1.30pm

Austin Street Shelter and the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance present a lecture and discussion: The Victimization Experiences and Health Challenges of Women Who are Homeless

Dr. Emily Spence-Almaguer
A presentation of a study conducted by the University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health involving interviews of 150 homeless women that provides an understanding of the violence and threats experienced by homeless women on the street and in emergency shelter settings.

WHEN: Friday, April 10 Noon - 1:30 pm

WHERE: Austin Street Shelter, 2929 Hickory Street, Dallas, TX 75226

COST: This is a free event. Brown Bag - Bring your own lunch


Dr. Emily Spence-Almaguer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health in the University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health. She is also the Outreach Core Director for the Texas Center for Health Disparities, a National Institute of Health (NIH) Center of Excellence. She obtained her master's degree in social work from Florida State University and her PhD from Florida International University. She began her career providing crisis services to victims of crimes, and has been conducting research and evaluation studies in the areas of homelessness, victimization, poverty, and other areas for nearly 25 years. She serves as an evaluator for several community initiatives and has authored numerous reports, book chapters and scholarly articles on homelessness and interpersonal violence.

Gabrianna Saks is a medical student at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC). She completed her Masters degree in Public Health (MPH) and served as Coordinator for the Tarrant County Homeless Women's Health and Victimization study during her final year of the MPH program. She regularly volunteers at health clinics for people who are homeless and was awarded a first-place Research Appreciation Day award by the UNTHSC ForHER institute for women's health.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Save the Date for State of the Homeless Address!

What: Dallas Area Continuum of Care State of the Homeless Address and Public Forum

·         Results of the 2015 Point in Time Homeless Count

·         Gaps and Needs in the Homeless Response System

·         Public Comments

When: Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 9.30-11.00am

Where: Goodwill Industries of Dallas, Inc., 3020 N. Westmoreland Rd., Dallas, Texas 75212

Who: Cindy J. Crain, President and CEO, Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance (MDHA)

To RSVP, and for questions, contact David Gruber, Development Manager, 469-222-0047,  

Friday, March 6, 2015

Affordable Housing in Frisco – Perception vs. Reality

The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said that you are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own set of facts. Issues of affordable housing seem to be an area where this reminder is needed more often than one would think.

I happen to live next door to a tax-credit affordable housing complex in Frisco. It was built two or three years ago, and I have seen no ill effects from it. Frankly, it looks more beautiful than the regular apartment complex I live in. This is why I was disappointed to see that the Frisco City Council rejected a call to support another affordable housing development:
A simple Google search brings up numerous studies, which show that there are no documented ill effects of affordable housing, with some studies showing positive effects. Here is just one of them: