Monday, November 05, 2007

Help the Homeless Walkathon

Our homeless friends and neighbors need your support and the support of your companies, congregations and neighborhoods.

As you are aware, homelessness continues to be a major challenge for our community. Fortunately, positive steps are being taken to end chronic homelessness in Dallas. Here’s a partial list of developments for which we can all give thanks this year:

  • Homeless Assistance CenterThe new Homeless Assistance Center is under construction and will open in early 2008.
    According to our last “point-in-time” census, the number of men, women and children forced to live in shelters and on our streets dropped for the second year in a row.

  • Plans are underway for the development of permanent supportive housing for the poorest of our neighbors, including Central Dallas Ministires' own citywalk@akard project in Downtown Dallas.

  • The Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance is stronger than ever and is working on our city’s ten year plan to end homelessness with a goal to end chronic homelessness by 2016.

But, we have much work remaining. So, I am writing to urge you to join us during “Help the Homeless Week”—November 11-17, 2007, as we turn a bright light on this terrible problem.

Click here to download a letter from our new mayor, Tom Leppert.

Click here to watch a video that Central Dallas Ministries created that features the stories of some of our neighbors who currently live on the streets.

Click here to view an information sheet that I hope you will share with your friends, family and neighbors. As you will see, there will be several important activities during this special week.

Please pay particular attention to our “Help the Homeless WalkAThon" on Saturday, November 17 beginning at 3:00 p.m. Visit our website at to gather more details and to register for this special time of community focus and collaboration.

I hope that CDM's friends and investors will turn out in large numbers to support the homeless in our city.

I also urge you to consider supporting this initiative with a donation to the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance. Donations can be made here.

Thanks in advance for your support!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this good update and information, Larry.

The only thing with which I'd disagree is this:

"According to our last “point-in-time” census, the number of men, women and children forced to live in shelters and on our streets dropped for the second year in a row."

Generally, people close to the situation downtown and the homeless themselves point out that, while the official census shows a decrease in homeless numbers -- 5163 this year -- the number (around 9000 in 2005) has almost certainly gone up rather than down and is probably closer to 10,000 than 5000.

Here's the disparity: In 2005, in the early morning after the official census had taken place the previous night (during which process good feeling typically abounds between the census takers and the homeless) the Texas Department of Transportation brought in bulldozers and did a ‘sweep’ of the homeless camps where the counts had taken place, hauling away 5 dump-truck loads of the belongings of the homeless people living there and depositing them in the city landfill. This included new tents, blankets, towels -- all donated by churches -- as well as people’s personal effects.

I also had a friend who lived in the I-45 camp whose wonderful dog, Simba, was hit by a car when the camp was disrupted and, after suffering for a number of days, died.

So -- it is generally known that the official census numbers have gone down because people in large numbers hide from the census takers these days.

It is wonderful that Mayor Leppert is making this a priority now. He met with several of us at the Day Resource Center during the election, as did Councilperson Carolyn Davis, and spoke with the homeless themselves at length -- an extraordinary step.

But, though we are taking a giant leap forward with the new Homeless Assistance Center opening in 2008, the situation downtown with the homeless can only go up from where it has been. We may be congratulating ourselves prematurely on our successes in reducing homelessness, though I have hope that we will soon be doing so.

Anonymous said...

FYI ...

A new report from the Internal Revenue Service shows the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans earned a record 21.2 percent of all income in 2005 — up from 19 percent in 2004. Meanwhile, the bottom 50 percent earned 12.8 percent of all income, down from 13.4 percent in 2004. According to the IRS, the median tax-filer’s income fell 2 percent between 2004 and 2005.