Homelessness

Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance President and CEO Joli Robinson said she hopes to end homelessness among veterans in the county by early 2022.

 At a Dec. 21 Dallas County Commissioners Court meeting, Robinson discussed efforts MDHA is implementing to mitigate homelessness for key groups throughout the county over the next few years. In addition to servicing the known estimated 300 unsheltered veterans in Dallas County, Robinson said the MDHA also planned to mitigate chronic unsheltered homelessness by 2023 and homelessness among families and youths by 2025. 

Commissioner John Wiley Price said that some of the cities in his district in the eastern part of the county would not admit that there were unsheltered homeless youths and asked Robinson if MDHA experienced the same challenge.

“I think it’s a challenge as a system to be honest about our youth that are experiencing homelessness because there is a gap in service that we perhaps have to look more into,” Robinson said. “For me, it’s understanding all those service providers and continuing to look for those gaps.”

Robinson said MDHA is putting programs in place to revamp the system and ensure more individuals are receiving the help they need in a more equitable way. She said that the Dallas Real Time Rapid Rehousing is a sliver of the MDHA’s program but has become the most impactful. One of the gols for the program is to house 2,762 or more individuals or families by 2023. 

To further analyze the effectiveness of its programs, MDHA is also adopting a data warehouse method to streamline all homelessness data to a single point and get a more accurate look at who is being serviced and how quickly. Robinson said this will ensure that all homeless individuals including people of color receive an equal amount of help. 

Community engagement and the upcoming 2022 Point in Time count between Jan. 25 and Jan. 30, where volunteers and community partners determine how many homeless individuals there are in the community, which will also help in outreach and acquiring accurate information, Robinson said. Volunteers can register at www.mdhadallas.org/homeless-pit-count/

Part of the community outreach involves landlord incentives where MDHA removes financial barriers to provide temporary housing to homeless individuals and gives the landlord a $1,000 bonus and a 12-month lease. Additionally, community members and partners can help supply the new tenant with a move-in kit complete with necessary housewares for the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and general cleaning. During the year, case managers will work with the new tenant to bring them to a more self-sustaining lifestyle. 

“It’s not enough to just move into a home,” Robinson said. “You have to have all those other things.”

Willing landlords can contact landlordinfo@mdhadallas.org, and donors can contact hannah.sims@mdhadallas.org to give supplies or funds. 

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