Monday, August 24, 2015

Effective action together!

John Siburt's "The View from the Square" report last Friday included the following from Edd Eason, VP of Health and Housing at CitySquare.  Just had to share this story.  Working together defines "collective impact," a value that is more and more a central part of the "CitySquare way."
Last Friday CitySquare received a request from Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance to assist a single mom with three children (ages: 8 mos., 3 years and 6 years). The mom and her kids had been discovered by outreach workers under the I-45 off-ramp near the I-45 and I-30 interchange. MDHA staff arranged for the mother and her children to spend a few nights in the family facility at the Dallas Life Foundation while the City of Dallas housing department worked on finding an apartment. Within a week arrangements were made for the mother and her children to move into an apartment off Northwest Hwy. where the children could attend Richardson schools. Last Friday the family moved into their apartment but had no furniture. MDHA staff and a City of Dallas case manager communicated and within two hours staff members at the CitySquare Thrift Store and CitySquare Community Health Transportation program were working together to arrange for beds, a baby crib, kitchen ware, sheets, towels, pillows and other items. As a result the family had everything they needed to spend their first night in their new apartment.

The collaboration of several organizations is starting to make an impact on those currently camping under the I-45 overpass. Led by MDHA’s new president, Cindy Crain, organizations like CitySquare and  others are working together like never before. Moving people who have been homeless for long periods into permanent supportive housing is not easy work. Affordable housing is getting scarce and It takes time to establish trusting relationships with people who have seen their hopes dashed again and again. But there is a new “can do” approach underway and their new spirit of cooperation at work in Dallas

Thank you, Edd, for sharing this story of successful collaboration. Special thanks to Will Goldman, Dale Adams and their incredible teams at the Thrift Store as well as Jesse Garcia and George Carerra in our Community Health Transportation program. Also to Jonathan Grace, and the housing case managers led by Krystal Lotspeich for all they are doing to help our neighbors under the I-45 overpass. Great work!  

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