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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The new Dallas Commission on Homelessness wants feedback from the public and is hosting two public meetings this week to let residents speak up.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings started the Homeless Commission after last month’s closure of the homeless camp under an Interstate-45 overpass often referred to as “Tent City”. Mayor Rawlings said the Commission is necessary because, “There is much to be done — otherwise we will be here a year from now.”

Since the closure of Tent City new camps have already developed in Pastor Todd Adkins’ Fair Park and Cedars area neighborhood. “We were all aware that moving north was not an option, so again, it was handed to south Dallas,” he said while addressing the Dallas City Council last week.

Speared headed by downtown Dallas resident and Homeless Commission member Tanya Ragan, the Homeless Commission is hosting two public comment meetings this week. Ragan said the hope is, “To engage and gather feedback from the community about their experience, challenges and their solutions for our Dallas homeless.”

With many of the city’s shelters at capacity, leaders are looking for alternatives for disenfranchised residents. In addition to concerns about the welfare of the homeless, Pastor Adkins wants city leaders to be aware of the threatening conditions other residents have found themselves in.

“Services that were normally held in the evenings are being cancelled because of safety concerns,” he said. “Residents of South Boulevard and Park Row are stating that people are going through their trash behind their houses. Residents are complaining due to aggressive panhandling in front of Minyard [Food Store] and in the drive through lines of restaurants on MLK and in front of Fair Park.”

Tonight’s public meeting is being held at Dallas City Hall, located at 1500 Marilla Street and begins at 6 p.m.

Another meeting will take place tomorrow, Tuesday, June 21, at the Harry Stone Recreation Center, located at 2403 Millmar Drive, just off Ferguson Road in far East Dallas. It also is slated to start at 6 p.m.

Those unable to attend the meetings can also send their comment to the Dallas Commission on Homelessness via email.

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