Thursday, December 23, 2010

In line in the middle of the night

CitySquare receives funding from the City of Dallas to provide rental and utility assistance to families in danger of losing their housing and "falling off" into homelessness.  The funds come as part of the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing  Program (HPRP).  Led by CitySquare team member, Michelle Kopel, this initiative will allow us to provide housing assistance and financial planning of almost $1 million by the time this round of funding ends. 

We literally are preventing homelessness through this effort. 

And, the demand is very high. 

Recently, I learned that candidates for the assistance and the emotional/spiritual care (a really important aspect of the effort) begin lining up as early as 3 a.m. in order to be sure of enrolling in the program! 

3 a.m.?

Yes, that early.

Here's a note we received from Michelle a couple of weeks ago:

We screen the first 10 people usually on Wednesday and Friday. . . . This is done on a first come, first serve basis. Our voice mail does say this, and we do try to answer all calls.  This can be a challenge. I receive about 100 to125 per day!!

In order to qualify, the zip code must begin with 752, a late notice, eviction or disconnect must be seen @ time of screening. Also all persons in household must be documented citizens. . . . Lastly we can only assist with people who are leasing not buying.

We have been told the line begins @3am on screening days. I usually go hand out 10#’s at 8am so the other’s can leave or stay for food. We try to keep the playing field fair, and we are open to any suggestions that will allow us to serve our neighbors in a better way. . . . M. Kopel

The need is very real in the heart of our city. 

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