What follows is an edited summary of an email message I received last week from Patti Cryer, program director for Central Dallas Ministries' Destination Home, our initiative to provide high-quality housing to the homeless here in Dallas.
Another Destination Home resident has passed away.
Due to our privacy policies, I am not permitted to reveal the gentleman's identity. However, one of our formerly homeless residents was found in his apartment on Friday after staff members became concerned and went to his apartment to check on him. They were able to see him lying on the floor through the sliding glass doors and called 911.
We have no reason to think his death was from anything other than natural causes, but his body was transported to the Medical Examiner's office for further investigation. CDM staff have been in touch with his family members, and they are aware of what happened. We will follow up with the family, the VA, and other appropriate agencies on Monday.
Our departed friend reached his one year anniversary in Destination Home this month.
One thing is becoming very clear to me: The homeless are not in good health.
Years on the street take years away from lives, important, precious lives, invaluable years.
We've got to find ways to work faster at providing permanent supportive housing for our neighbors who must deal with hard, harsh, unforgiving life on the streets of our nation's cities.
God help us to act with swift resolve. A city like Dallas simply must do much, much better.