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Compassion Matters

More than 100 organizations unite $72MM initiative toward ending homelessness in our country

Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance Chief Executive Officer Joli Angel Robinson with Board Chair Peter Brodsky

North Star Values: Compassion, Dignity, and Partnership

The number of local people experiencing homelessness has increased significantly in the last several years, with a 50 percent increase between 2017 to 2020 and an additional 11 percent jump from 2019 to 2020.

The Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance’s (MDHA) mission is to make the experience of homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring. To accomplish this, they’re leading the charge on a new $72 million historic public-private homeless “rapid rehousing” strategy, the Dallas R.E.A.L. Time Rapid Rehousing initiative, which will house more than 2,700 people and families experiencing homelessness over the next two years. This would result in 50% fewer people experiencing homelessness, many of whom are situationally homeless due to an unexpected life event, job loss, or domestic violence.

$10 million was raised for the initiative from 20 private and corporate funders, including $2 million lead grants from CFT’s W. W. Caruth, Jr. FundBank of America, and Margot Perot and the Perot Family. More than $1 million was contributed from the Collaborative on Homelessness, a group of more than 100 local foundations, nonprofits, and community-focused and governmental organizations, with significant leadership and support from the Meadows Foundation. These dollars will be used to fund move-in kits with beds, linens, and dishes for those being housed, landlord incentives, and necessary administrative and capacity-building expenses for partner agencies to manage the volume of clients they will be serving.

CFT seeks to fund initiatives that are fueled by collaboration and collective impact. “We know that we are all more effective when we work together. This initiative is the definition of collective impact, with multiple governments, agencies, and funding sources coming together to work as a team to tackle homelessness. By connecting people with a home, they can then address other challenges that may have led to their homelessness,” said Dave Scullin, president and CEO.

The rest of the $72 million initiative is being funded through federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars allocated by local governments and the Dallas Housing Authority – Housing Solutions for North Texas. The city of Dallas and Dallas County each committed $25 million in federal stimulus dollars, and more than 750 housing vouchers will be distributed by Dallas County, the Dallas Housing Authority, Mesquite, and Grand Prairie.

“We knew we had a big mountain to climb to raise the dollars needed in time to launch the initiative in fall 2021, and the Dallas community came together in spectacular fashion to support this once-in-a-generation opportunity that will have the potential to create lasting systemic change,” said Peter Brodsky, board chair of MDHA. “Every client will be provided really intensive wraparound services to address whatever barriers they are facing.”

“This collaborative effort is about pulling together our resources to serve our unhoused population in a way that is responsible, equitable, accountable, and legitimate. So many partners have come together to answer the call, showing compassion for our neighbors in need,” said Joli Angel Robison, MDHA CEO. “The real celebration will occur when there are 2,700 fewer people living without a roof over their heads. This is an unprecedented opportunity for us to truly make the experience of homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring.”

This story was originally featured in our 2021 annual report. For additional details and content, click here.

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