Dallas and Collin Counties are among of a small group of communities nationwide receiving $22.8 million in funding to homeless services organizations.
The funds, which are part of an unprecedented $315 million U.S.Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) package, could have a visible positive impact on street, park and trail encampments and the people who live in them, as well as increased related support and services according to Housing Forward, the agency that oversees the All Neighbors Coalition and will distribute the funding.
HUD’s aim is to boost housing supply and lower costs by supporting local engagement to increase the supply of affordable housing, HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge said in a statement.
“Every person deserves to live with dignity and security in safe, stable, and affordable home,” Fudge says.
(Related: The state of affordable housing in Dallas.)
At a local level it will mean targeted outreach to homeless encampments, expanded housing and services to help neighbors move back into a safe home and improve their health and wellbeing, according to Housing Forward.
“Our focus on reducing unsheltered homelessness, the most visible form of homelessness in our community, will be greatly aided by this new funding, Housing Forward Board Chair Peter Brodsky says. “Dallas Housing Authority and Dallas County have both committed critical resources to be paired with this HUD funding and we have worked to build and strengthen partnerships with local healthcare providers and nonprofits providing street outreach. This allows us to engage more neighbors living in encampments across our community and help them access housing with critical wrap-around supports.”
Joli Angel Robinson, President and CEO of Housing Forward says there has been an increase in the chronically unsheltered population in Dallas, Collin County and other metros in the All Neighbors Coalition, and Housing Solutions set a goal to significantly reduce those numbers.
“Through a greater alignment of resources, enhanced partnerships and a focus on racial equity, we are housing more people than ever before,” Robinson says. “This historic funding allows our homeless response system to greatly expand and further that work. This award is a tremendous nod to the work of The All Neighbors Coalition as we continue to demonstrate that we are a system working together toward shared goals in our effort to find permanent solutions to ending homelessness.”
The award, according to a Housing Solutions press release, also helps the local homeless response system expand diversion efforts that prevent people from becoming unsheltered and increases the availability of Permanent Supportive Housing, which provides access to affordable housing through rental subsidies with necessary supportive services.
The new funds will go directly to several leading homeless service providers — The Bridge, The Stewpot, Salvation Army, CitySquare, MetroCare, and Under 1 Roof — to deliver these proven solutions to homelessness, explains All Neighbors Coalition Board Chair Ashley Brundage.
“We have seen the impact of collaboration through our local initiatives,” she says. “This unsheltered funding opportunity allows us to deeply collaborate with existing partners to amplify housing and healthcare resources and create permanent housing solutions for our neighbors experiencing homelessness.”