1. Propose a first class, beautifully designed housing asset. Fact: In most cases such plans involve dramatic improvement of the existing real estate chosen for such a project.
2. Determine that said asset will provide homes, that's right homes, for very poor persons; yes, even formerly homeless persons. [This is a fact that for some reason escapes the ordinary citizen: once a person has a home, a roof over his/her head, they can no longer be considered homeless, but I digress.]
3. Work hard to align sources with intended uses and put together the financial dimensions and details of the plan.
4. Line up necessary support for financing. Almost all major, significant developments like what's in mind here require both public financing and political support.
5. Communicate your plans and intentions to the public, with special attention to the neighborhood surrounding the purposed development.
6. Batten down the hatches, dive for cover and prepare for an assault on your plans!
As I say, it almost never fails.
Folks may say they favor permanent housing for the very poor, the homeless. But any hint that such a development is planned for anywhere near their property, home, business, or school and you'll witness incredible opposition.
The latest example of such opposition was reported in last Sunday's edition of The Dallas Morning News ("Uneasy neighbors," Metro section 1B, 4B, April 8, 2012).
The project in question connects at least indirectly with CitySquare since John Greenan, Central Dallas Community Development Corporation, is one of the developers. CitySquare organized the Central Dallas CDC in 2001 to serve the community in developing first-class, affordable housing. Since the completion of CityWalk @Akard, the CDCDC continues to be involved in a number of projects to provide permanent supportive housing to the homeless of Dallas.
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Larry James' Urban Daily
A repository of ideas, resources, commentary and opinions concerning the issues facing low-income residents of the inner cities of the United States and how mainstream America largely forgets or, worse, ignores the day-to-day realities of urban life for the so-called "poor." Written and edited by the President & CEO of CitySquare. Please visit CitySquare.
Today and throughout 2013, we need your support to continue our life-changing work in inner-city Dallas. Every day hundreds of our wonderful neighbors arrive at our doors seeking our assistance, offering their help and prepared to pursue a better life. Frankly, the folks we "serve" make essential contributions to the scope, nature and soul of the work we attempt. At CitySquare we honor and recognize the amazing value and richness of our low-income neighbors. During 2012, almost 55,000 different people received the benefit of our wide-ranging services designed to assist in the process of building better lives. We need your help TODAY as we continue to respond to the needs of our community. Even more, we need you to become our PARTNER in the work of compassion and community renewal--work that continues day after day at CitySquare.