Friday, January 22, 2016

A Letter from Cindy J. Crain, MDHA President and CEO to the Dallas Homeless Count Volunteers

Cindy J. Crain, MDHA President and CEO, sent this letter to our volunteers this morning:

Dear Volunteers,

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! The last Dallas Homeless Count Volunteer Team rolled in at just before 1:30 am. We did it! All counters were safe, with no incidents. What a tremendous volunteer response! Well over 550(!) volunteers deployed all across Dallas to produce the most extensive homeless count on record! A special thank you goes out to the City of Dallas and the Dallas Police Department, for providing us with volunteers and space for staging and training.

I enjoyed listening to your stories as you all brought back your results. You followed instructions, and you stuck to the guidelines. In the process, you were exposed to and touched by the experience of our unsheltered homeless neighbors.

Interestingly, we had some Tier One routes where nobody was found, and some Tier Three routes where many persons were found. This fit with our goal: To build a baseline map of our unsheltered homeless neighbors, through which we can better plan for and improve street outreach services. This type of task can only be achieved with hundreds of committed volunteers.

Counters train at DPD NW Patrol Division prior to deployment
We will need to carefully review all the survey packets to verify the numbers. A preliminary estimate, though, indicates that through your tireless work we identified approximately 600 unsheltered homeless individuals in the City of Dallas. This is an increase from the 363 found in 2015 in all of Dallas and Collin County.

The official State of the Homeless Address will be on March 22, 2016, 9.30-11.30am at Goodwill Industries of Dallas, 3020 N. Westmoreland Rd., Dallas, Texas 75212. There we will present all of the findings of the Homeless Count, as well as a Homeless Response System progress report, as we prepare our 2016-2017 Continuum of Care Strategic Work Plan. We hope to see you all there. Click on this link for a flyer and RSVP today. 

Finally, please save the date for the 2017 Homeless Count, on Thursday, January 26, 2017. MDHA is honored to work for all of you. With your help, we will continue to build an effective homeless response system, that will make homelessness in our community rare, brief and non-recurring!
Cindy J. Crain
President and CEO, MDHA

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