Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Ending Unsheltered Homelessness in Dallas

Homelessness is a failure of our society, and nothing highlights this failure more than unsheltered homelessness. This is why (and if you are a regular reader of our e-newsletter and of our blog you know this already) under the leadership of Cindy J. Crain, our President and CEO, we have paid particular attention to this issue. We and our partners have devoted many resources to helping the unsheltered homeless move into sheltered settings, and more importantly, into housing, as soon as possible.

Beyond the personal challenges faced by the unsheltered homeless, large encampments present acute health, safety and legal concerns to those residing there. This is why MDHA developed formal evidence-based guidelines for encampment clearings, in consultation with the City of Dallas, following
the clearing of Tent City in April-May of this year. The most important guideline is that a clearing not be initiated, without identifying appropriate placements for at least half of the residents.

Street Outreach Initiative mobile office at the Haskell Encampment
In October, the encampment area located between S. Hill and Haskell Avenues under I-30 was formally closed. MDHA and collaborative partners agreed at the end of September, that the Street Outreach Initiative could reasonably house half of the then population of eighty-two encampment residents, once again, a requirement under the above guidelines. In fact, we and our partners managed to successfully place 45 persons, just above the goal of 41. We continue to engage and work with those who could not be placed.

We encourage you to read more about this specific clearing here on this blog:
Housing and Shelter Targets Exceeded as Haskell Encampment Closes; Street Outreach and Case Management Continues. You can read more about this general effort in Cindy's recent piece in the Dallas Morning News: How Dallas is starting to solve its homeless problem, as well as here on this blog: Supportive Services and Assessments Increased at Haskell Homeless Encampment - Racial Inequities Must be Addressed.

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