Mar 8, 2023 - News

Dallas makes progress reducing homelessness

Illustration of Dallas City Hall with lines radiating from it.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

More than 1,700 people have moved into a permanent residence since Dallas' rapid rehousing program launched in 2021.

The big picture: Despite visible examples of homelessness throughout Dallas, the city, county and nonprofits are the most organized they've been in years in the effort to move people into stable, permanent housing, advocates say.

State of play: A $22.8 million federal grant awarded to Dallas and Collin counties could further reduce unsheltered homelessness in the area by replicating the existing rapid rehousing program, which is funded through federal pandemic aid.

Catch up fast: After the sizable award was announced last month, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson created a task force to study what works and what doesn't in the city's current homelessness operations.

  • The temporary task force is expected to present recommendations in June.

What they're saying: One of the biggest questions the task force members hope to answer is, "Can we go faster?" said Ellen Magnis, the CEO of Family Gateway and task force co-chair.

  • "It's going to take time for those dollars to be put into place and really make a difference at the same time as more people are coming," she tells Axios.

Details: The number of annual housing placements has increased 35% since 2020, when Dallas began restructuring its homelessness response programs.

  • More than 180 residential properties are partnering with rehousing programs to offer units, according to city staff.

What's next: Dallas and Collin counties' annual homelessness census results will be released this spring.


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