Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, left at podium, conducts a news conference announcing a collaboration with Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, to house over 2,600 homeless individuals, outside of Dallas City Hall, on Wednesday morning, June 23, 2021. Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, the lead agency in North Texas’ homeless efforts, joins […]
This is a developing story and will be updated.
A multimillion-dollar partnership announced Wednesday morning aims to get more than half the city’s homeless population into shelter by 2023.
The City of Dallas and Dallas County will partner with Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, DHA Housing Solutions for North Texas, the City of Mesquite, the city of Grand Prairie and the Homeless Collaborative on the initiative, which is poised to be the largest collective investment in North Texas to address homelessness.
The initiative will total about $70 million, with Dallas County and the city of Dallas contributing $25 million each to the effort. DHA, Dallas County, and the city of Mesquite will each contribute $10 million worth of vouchers, and philanthropic contributions will contribute another $10 million.
“Too many people, particularly African Americans, experience homelessness in our city and in our region,” said Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson. “This problem has been growing for many years, and it is clear that we have to act now to address the myriad causes of homelessness and implement short-term and long-term solutions that provide people with stability and pathways to better lives.”
The February point-in-time count by the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, which aims to develop an effective homeless rehousing system in Dallas and Collin counties, found that about 4,100 individuals in Dallas County were experiencing homelessness.
The partnership will prioritize offering 655 vouchers for permanent housing to domestic violence survivors, families and individuals with health issues. An additional 2,000 people will be housed temporarily for a year and will receive health and employment-support services.
The recent addition of the city of Grand Prairie will increase those numbers, according to Peter Brodsky, Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance Chair and interim CEO.
“The vouchers are a permanent subsidy, so once you receive a voucher, that never ends,” Brodsky said. “That’s why the people who are going to receive the vouchers are domestic violence survivors, families and people who are the most chronically homeless, who are really probably never going to be self-sustaining.”
Brodsky said the vouchers will be distributed starting in July, and will serve about 100 domestic violence survivors and 100 families. The remaining 455 vouchers will be used for individuals in chronic homelessness. The Rapid Rehousing program to house the other 2,000 individuals will begin on October 1.
Brodsky said the Alliance expects a steady decrease of tent encampments as a result of the program over the next two years.
“The program will provide an invaluable tool to the City of Dallas to resolve encampments humanely and effectively by offering the people living there housing immediately,” Brodsky said in an email. “People will be able to go directly from encampment to housing.”
The program to house the 2,600 individuals will last until the end of September 2023.