Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Permanent Supportive Housing for the hardest to house and most expensive to keep on the streets

This morning at beginning at 7:15 a.m. at the Fairmont Hotel, located in Downtown Dallas just a couple of blocks from CityWalk@ Akard, Central Dallas Ministries hosts our 15th Annual Urban Ministries Prayer Breakfast

Our speaker this year will be Rosanne Haggerty, national expert on housing approaches for the chronically homeless.  Following breakfast, Ms. Haggerty will join others for a panel discussion on the subject. 

The morning promises to be extremely important as we continue to advance the community conversation about permanent supportive housing as a strategy for ending chronic homelessness in Dallas. 

In view of our subject this morning, the report published by Kim Horner last Sunday in The Dallas Morning News is certainly timely. 

Horner's report describes one of our next big efforts to provide housing for our poorest neighbors.   Here's a taste of the report:

Dallas cottage project aims to benefit both homeless 'frequent fliers,' taxpayers

By KIM HORNER / The Dallas Morning News

Fifty of Dallas' most costly homeless "frequent fliers" – people who repeatedly cycle through institutions such as hospitals and jail at a cost to taxpayers – could soon be finding homes, just south of Deep Ellum.

The Cottages at Hickory Crossing as proposed would include 50 dwellings, each 400 square feet. The residents would be the city's chronically homeless, people who often have disabling mental illnesses and addictions along with criminal histories.

The project aims to stabilize that population – and save taxpayers money.

Studies across the nation have found that each chronically homeless person costs taxpayers between $35,000 and $150,000 a year. Dallas has an estimated 600 to 1,000 chronically homeless people.

"These are the most expensive people on the streets in Dallas," said Larry James, president and chief executive officer of Central Dallas Ministries, which would provide caseworkers to assist the tenants.

The Communities Foundation of Texas and the Meadows Foundation are working with other agencies to raise the $10 million in public and private funds needed to build and operate the housing program over three years.

Residents would be referred by the Dallas County criminal justice system and the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, which runs the city's homeless assistance center, The Bridge. The agencies would research jail, mental health and hospital records to determine the homeless people with the highest costs to public systems.

To continue reading, click here.


Jerry said...

Larry, this was a great day! The program and the tour were both high quality and very touching. One point that stuck in my pea-sized brain is this: Providing PSH is more than cost effective and serves the needs and interests of EVERYONE, not just the homeless. Keep up the good fight.

Anonymous said...

Read the article today in the DMN (finally got around to reading the paper). I know it has been a goal of several individuals to provide housing for the chronically homeless but then a snag always seems to pop up.

If you can get the City to finally approve this development I will be more than happy to make a donation toward the funds needed to build it.

Larry James said...

Thanks for your generous support, Jerry. Great seeing you.

Anon 6:40, we'll get this one done and we'll be pleased to add your donation to the development fund to do the deal! Thanks!