Kim Horner reports news for The Dallas Morning News. She holds down a big piece of the human and social services beat for the region. Over the past several months Kim has published stories on homelessness in Dallas. The latest in what she calls "an occasional seriers," appeared in last Sunday's paper.
Here's how the report begins:
Unwelcome mat out for project to house chronically homeless
12:26 AM CST on Sunday, December 13, 2009
One in an occasional series By KIM HORNER / The Dallas Morning News
Developer Larry Hamilton has been working for months to turn the empty Plaza Hotel south of downtown Dallas into homes for the homeless. But it's been much tougher than he imagined.
Hamilton and other developers complain of roadblocks even as they try to carry out the city's goal of opening 700 apartments for the homeless by 2014. The housing, which would come with mental health and addiction services, is considered the most effective way to clear the streets of the hard-core homeless.
But Dallas has lagged behind other major cities in creating the units. Public financing, neighborhood cooperation and political will are all in short supply in a city that has been able to raise millions for arts projects, a convention center hotel and Calatrava bridges over the Trinity River.
"They have this aspiration to do 700 units, but I think it's going to be hard to do any," Hamilton said. "I don't see how it's going to get done."
To read the entire story click here.
Read Kim Horner's entire series on homelessness here.
Lots of work to do both in development and community education. One fact our community must face: more public funding must be found and a deepened public commitment must be nurtured.