One of the forums I learn the most from is MDHA's Alliance Homeless Forum. Why is that? Because if you want to learn about homelessness... ask those who are/were homeless! This forum is organized by Ryan Dotson, Claire Nilson and Ricky Redd, with the able assistance of Shavon Moore, our Continuum of Care Program Coordinator.
During the last meeting, Ricky, a consumer and MDHA board member, shared his
experiences and perspective on group or boarding homes. This was very
enlightening to me personally, as I did not know a whole lot about this type of
living arrangement. He explained that this type of home is usually most
appropriate for those who have a disability. The home typically provides each
person a bed, and a place to store belongings. It has communal areas for meals
and sometimes for recreation. The residents pay a few hundred dollars in
Ricky pointed out that not all group homes are "created equal," and
recommended a general "buyer beware" approach. Obviously, Ricky
warned, one should never stay at an unlicensed home. Claire pointed out that
closing down a home or revoking a license due to legal violations, usually
necessitates a proactive complaint to the city. She has been active in visiting
homes to help out with this, and courageously managed to bring about the
closing of a few sub-par homes.
Ricky further warned, that many licensed homes do not provide adequate food,
and many more provide few recreational opportunities. One more important
recommendation he had was to not allow the group home to be a representative
payee for social security or other types of benefits. The only specific home
Ricky felt comfortable recommending by name was the aptly named Friendly Manor.
To learn more about the Alliance Homeless Forum, feel free to email Shavon at Shavon.Moore@mdhadallas.org.
It is usually held on the second Friday of every month on the 5th floor of the
Central Dallas Public Library.