"Million Dollar Murray" and several national research trips convince me that the very best approach to overcoming the challenges facing our friends and neighbors who live without permanent housing is to provide them the housing they need first.
Further, we must build into the provision of housing some "space to fail."
Recovery doesn't happen over night for people who battled addictions. Punitive approaches that terminate housing benefits following set backs, work against recovery, not for it. Extending grace and coupling it with realistic expectations, turns out to be the most effective approach to overcoming homelessness in a city like Dallas.
In addition, providing permanent housing with "high-touch" support services (I like to use the word "concierge" right here), turns out to be less expensive by a factor of about three than maintaining people on the streets of our community.
So, doing what is right by this special population, turns out to also be doing what is best for everyone.
Funny how that works out.
Our coming Cottages at Hickory Crossing project will embrace the strategies of "housing first" from the beginning.
The Dallas Morning News reported Sunday on the story of a man who fits the profile of the men and women who will live in the new housing that we will complete by January 2015.
We're ready for it at CitySquare.
Hopefully, Dallas is as well.