Statement from Housing Forward on the Dallas’ HOPE Task Force

Dallas’ HOPE task force pinpoints closing encampments for good using housing and services

We appreciate the task force’s commitment to finding solutions to unsheltered homelessness.  The report reinforces key strategies that have reduced unsheltered homelessness last year by 14% and reduced chronic homelessness by 32%, despite national trends. This includes scaling targeted outreach, and rehousing assistance with wrap-around behavioral healthcare for neighbors experiencing homelessness in encampments.

On January 24, the Dallas City Council can vote to approve funding for 16 outreach workers, which will speed up the reduction of unsheltered homelessness.

Continuing to reduce unsheltered homelessness will require an ongoing focus on racial equity and scaling the proven approach to tackling encampments. Beginning in 2021, the City of Dallas, Housing Forward, and several critical service providers partnered to remove these sites by offering neighbors apartments. Outreach workers help neighbors navigate the process of finding and keeping a home: securing the right documents, an apartment, rental assistance and connections to behavioral health care and employment. Over 95% of the neighbors we connect with at homeless encampments say yes to housing, dispelling a common myth that most are “service resistant.”

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