Homelessness in Dallas

Dallas is still reeling from last week’s violence. 2016 will go down in history as possibly the worst summer ever. Meanwhile, temperatures are hitting the 100 degrees mark. If you’re from around here, you know that this is also the time of year for ferocious thunderstorms that cause serious property damage–even loss of life. Imagine suffering through a Texas summer when your only place to call home is a tent under a bridge. As you probably know, the City of Dallas closed down the homeless encampment under the I-45 overpass in May. The problem is, the 300 former residents didn’t just disappear. With no place to go, most migrated to other camps. Tent cities under I-30 and Haskell and at I-45 and Coombs are mushrooming. It’s now been announced that these camps will be closed, starting July 19, citing health and safety concerns. You don’t need a crystal ball to predict that new camps will just spring up somewhere else. The Dallas Observer compares it to a game of Whack-a-Mole. The Mayor’s Commission on Homelessness is on it. …

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Because happy shouldn’t be for just an hour

Come up to the Tower Club in Thanksgiving Tower on April 14 and have a free drink with us! At the Helping Hands Happy Hour, you’ll get to rub elbows with guest bartenders Jenny Anchondo from Fox 4 and Jasmine Sadry from KSCS. From 5:30 to 7:00, all tips and proceeds benefit the Housing Crisis Center! How can you beat that?

See the update and photos here.

Homeless families and veterans in our community need your support, so come thirsty (but drink responsibly) and be generous to your lovely bartenders. Your contributions will help us fund programs like our new Employment Clinic.

The Tower Club is located at 1601 Elm Street, on the 48th floor of Thanksgiving Tower, across from the giant eyeball. The closest DART rain station is Akard. Parking in the Thanksgiving Tower garage is just $5 after 5:30 pm. Going down Elm, look for Stone Place, one street west of Ervay. The entrance is to the right right just before the light. The ticket machine is at the bottom of the down ramp. Instead of going to the lobby of …

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Double our money

Housing Crisis Center needs to raise $20,000 by April 10. With $20,000 we can provide safe, clean housing for two households for a year. You  can help us double thatDonate to the Charity Challenge Chili Cookoff, presented by Pendery’s World of Chiles and Spices between now and April 10, and Pendery’s will match your donation. This is a dollar-for-dollar match. That’s a safe place to live for four veterans or families with kids that need your help!

We’re really looking forward to the Chili Cookoff. It takes places at SMU on April 10. Housing Crisis Center will be there, and we hope to see you there!

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Hopping into the New Year with Dallas Children’s Theater

We love Dallas Children’s Theater! What better way for the kids in our programs to start a new year than by experiencing the magic of live theater. The youngsters in our programs will get to attend a performance of the Broadway hit A Year with Frog and Toad, which runs from January 29 through February 28, 2016.

Dallas Children’s Theater does some incredible stuff. They are dedicated to challenging and inspiring children to explore their individual creativity through theater. In addition to several family-oriented live performances each year, they offer developmentally age-appropriate classes, and even have special programs for children with sensory processing disorders such as autism.

This is such a great opportunity for our kids! Many of them would never be able to experience the life-changing magic of live theater without a little help, and we are grateful to DCT for giving our kids this opportunity. They’re also collecting books and blankets for our little ones, and reserving a portion of donations from patrons who attend A Year with Frog and Toad for HCC!

Please show these wonderful folks your support and come out to see …

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dogtags and flag

26,000

Good afternoon, HCC supporters!

I had an interesting meeting recently with a woman who has the “inside track” at the Veterans Administration here in Dallas.  You may not know it, but HCC is the largest provider of permanent housing for veterans next to what is known as the VASH voucher system.  Soon, HCC will add 10 more veterans households to its roster – exciting stuff.

You may be wondering why I titled this post “26,000.”  Brace yourself:

That’s how many vets will be heading to North Texas in the next 18 months, according to the Dallas VA.

Now, vets aren’t typically homeless immediately when they return from war – the downward spiral takes a while.  Give it a few years and I can almost guarantee a significant portion of that 26,000 will be living on a street near you.  What can we do?

Let’s make more housing available.  Let’s create more resources and expand what we currently have to accommodate vets in order to prevent homelessness.  HCC is already exploring ways to make the transition for OIF/OEF vets different and …

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Homelessness and Poverty Resources

A board member asked an interesting question this morning – he asked me to identify some resources to inform him more about what we do at HCC and how it fits in with the greater issues of homelessness, socio-economic justice, and homeless prevention.

Please see my recommendations below – I’d love to talk more about these and other resources if you’re wanting to:

1)      The Working Poor:  Invisible in America by David Shipler

2)      Bridges out of Poverty by Dr. Ruby Payne

3)      Two brief “readers” put out by the Institute for Children and Poverty –
The Cycle of Family Homelessness Social Policy Reader (you can order it off their website at www.icpny.org)
The New Poverty:  Homeless Families in America (also available on their website)

4)      Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich and Frances Fox Piven (commentary on the working poor)

5)      Push: A Novel by Sapphire  (1 woman’s story on living in poverty – very graphic and, at times, very disturbing)

6)      Tell Them Who I Am:  The Lives of Homeless Women by Elliot Liebow (follows shelter women – similar to those who would end up in our Home Again program)

7)      There Goes the Neighborhood: Racial, Ethnic, and Class Tensions in Four Chicago Neighborhoods and Their Meaning for America by Wilson and Taub (because we can’t talk about poverty without talking about race – they are inextricably linked)

8)      Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor by Sudhir Venkatesh