Classic case of "between a rock and a hard place" for us at CitySquare.
See the video posted below.
On the one hand, the pressure created by the time frame to "move along" imposed on the people living in this encampment made it nearly impossible to transition folks from the street to housing.
We could have refused to be involved in the removal.
On the other, we couldn't walk away from so many friends and neighbors who endured the trauma of being removed.
We know most of these people. Our Homeless Outreach Team interviewed every one of them in an attempt to begin the process of moving toward permanent housing. We had no choice but to be with them and attempt to ease their burden, even if inadequately.
Dallas (City and County) and its leaders need to stop, take stock and recognize the fact that every homeless person on our streets is just as important as the person living in the best housing available.
Homeless persons are citizens and constituents, and must not continually be defined as a problem.
I believe the Mayor's Commission on Homelessness provides us the opportunity to "re-boot" and approach the challenge in a much different, more comprehensive manner.
Time will tell.
I know one thing for sure: Dallas must do better.