DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas homeless population is not going away. One effort to address chronic homelessness opened its doors by handing keys to 50 new houses to individuals long living on the streets.
“The answer to homelessness is homes, and today we celebrate these homes” says Mayor Rawlings.
Contemporary log cabins, small in stature, yet sturdy in design. They sit as a community nestled together on the south bank of I-30 near Deep Ellum. The downtown Dallas skyline hovers above as guardians to smaller siblings.
The Cottages at Hickory Crossing are part of a 6.8-million-dollar project to get the homeless off the streets. All 50 of them, located just south of Deep Ellum, were built with public and private dollars.
Jimmy Cupples, a 46-year-old Dallas native saw the cottages and remarked, “Amazing. It’s remarkable.”
Cupples now has a bed and a TV. A new tenant in a new home, in a new community built for folks just like him.
“We don’t need anything gigantic. This would be great start to get people where they need to be.” Says Myra Owens. She doesn’t live here; she’s had to live in her truck. She’d like to see more of these.
50 men and women with emotional and physical disabilities-issues were chosen to move into the cottages.
Larry James of City Square says, “They been on the street a long time, chronic illness, mortality rate high. So we’re talking about the weakest folks among us.”
These tenants qualify, based on their mental, emotional and physical needs. Nearby buildings will house a Metro Care Services clinic, and a food bank.
“There’s too many living in tents, are shelters are at capacity. This is a sign we can do it; the key is to do it faster.” says Rawlings
But there are over one thousand people in Dallas with vouchers for housing…and can’t get it.
Dallas’ latest homeless Tent City put up stakes under another bridge. Some call it Haskell Avenue Hotel. The lines for food three blocks from City Hall haven’t shortened either.
These cottages won’t wipe away Dallas homelessness. But they are structural symbols of what is possible, one cottage at a time.
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