"Larry, some people say we don't have enough beds, while others say there are more than enough available and open to the homeless," my buddy said. "What do you think?"
Lots of questions come my way and my answer is the same, "Sorry, I haven't a clue."
But in this case I had an immediate answer.
"Wrong question," I said. "It's neither. It's not how many beds we have or don't have. It's a matter of the kind of beds we have."
We don't need more beds in Dallas.
We need more bedrooms.
A bed count will do nothing for mixed use, economic development; job growth or income creation.
As a matter of fact, building out warehouses to "bed down" the poor is a bad idea, except for emergency, short-term, transitional situations.
But you build bedrooms and everything else follows naturally!
Who are the homeless in Dallas?
Not long ago I read over a one-page summation of the "demographics of homelessness" in our city captured over the past 4-5 years. The count approached 10,000 individuals.
Interesting and sad stuff.
Here's a bit of what's been discovered
52% are male
38% are female
10% did not report
42% African American
Less than 1% Asian
Less than 1% Native American
Less than 16 9%
Over 60 6.6%
Single (never married) 27%
Single (divorced) 27%
Other Less than 1%
Folks need homes, including bedrooms.