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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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