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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As the temperatures drop, the city of Dallas is preparing to address the needs of those most at risk living on the streets.
City leaders will meet next week to consider recommendations by the mayor’s Commission On Homelessness.
The 50-page report took months of meetings and discussions, and now one member of the commission behind the report says the time for talk is over. The city’s 10,000 homeless need action.
After Dallas shut down the tent city underneath I-30 near South Haskell Avenue, Reginald Jones knew he had to move out of the fenced in area, but he didn’t know where he could go.
“It’s been confusing for me for months. What am I allowed to do? It’s like Peter robbing Paul. You have to do this in order to do that, and you shouldn’t have to,” Jones said.
In its final report set to be discussed Monday by Dallas’s Housing Committee, the Commission On Homelessness identifies the lack of affordable housing as a key problem and sets a goal to add at least 1,000 new Permanent Supportive Housing units over the next five years.
“We have people living under a bridge. We need to find a place for those people, and the shelters are bottlenecks and full, so we need to clear that,” Tanya Ragan said.
Ragan served on the commission that issued the report. She hopes next week will be a starting point to encourage more public input on homelessness which she says can be a taboo topic.
“You know people don’t like talking about seeing the things that they witnessed on the street, but the reality is we have to talk about it, but now it’s time to stop talking about it, and it’s time to get to work,” Ragan said.
Ragan advocates a permanent citizens commission on homelessness, which is something the city staff is considering as a recommendation to the Housing Committee. For those living on the streets, it’s a beginning with promise, but time is running out.
“I’m hopeful… a little bit, not hopeful, hopeful ’cause we’ve been let down so many times before,” Jones said.
The Housing Committee will discuss the findings in the report on Monday. City staff will brief members on their recommendations in January.
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