DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The city of Dallas is proposing amending city code rules in an effort to enhance assistance to homeless residents.
The Inclement Weather Shelter Plan would allow the operation of temporary shelters by faith based groups. Currently, Dallas city rules prohibit such shelters.
“We want to be able to have the ability to expand our homeless response system, so we can get people off the streets when the weather is terrible”, Dallas Assistant City Manager Nadia Hardy said Wednesday.
Under a proposed Inclement Weather Plan, outreach, nonprofit and faith-based groups could provide shelter for homeless individuals and/or families.
The temperature must exceed 100 degrees in the summer months.
Oak Lawn United Methodist Church initiated a temporary Weather Relief Shelter two years ago, despite the city’s rules that prohibit the effort. Senior Pastor Rachel Baughman has urged the City Council to adopt amendments to the temporary shelter rules.
“We are an emergency answer when it’s too cold or too hot because there are never enough beds in the shelters. I think the city needs to show up and pay attention to the fact our homeless population has grown so dramatically, and we haven’t done the work needed as a city to respond to the need,” she said.