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It isn't a big secret that Dallas has a homeless problem. Anyone who lives there sees them on a daily basis. Recently, the city leaders of Dallas took the time to take some steps in order to begin fighting against the issue. After an awful audit recently, the city officials were justly questioned about their performance and accountability regarding how they have spent money in the past on homeless programs. The Dallas City Council had approved over $6 million in new funds for paying for a homeless shelter. It was also to help pay for the service provider of the shelter called The Bridge. It is located on St. Paul Street. People working with The Bridge had accepted this new agreement and decided upon tougher requirements of the program's performance.
According to a spokesperson with The Bridge, they are going to offer credible self-assessments across the whole board of what they do with the funds and resources that they have been blessed with in Dallas to help the homeless citizens. Casey McManemin is the spokesperson who made these promises. All of the Dallas' City Council members took their turns telling officials that they expect to see some vast improvements. An audit wasn't necessary in order to see that there is a real problem with homelessness in the city. They are visible from many of the streets across the city. They are especially prominent around The Bridge.
According to Councilman Ricky Callahan, there are code violations all around that many are just turning a blind eye to. He says that he goes out to St. Paul each day and the things he witnesses are just insane. He is tired of everything being witnessed but left unfixed. He believes that a tougher nuisance law should be approved by the Dallas City Council and would hold the homeless service providers to a much tougher standard. Members working with a homeless program called The Stewpot said they fear they are a prime target of the new nuisance law. The program is run through the First Presbyterian Church's homeless initiative.
The church's official, Bill Cobb, says that he believes they are taking public nuisance concepts and laws that are meant for drug dens, brothels and flop houses and applying them to properties like their church. The doors of The Stewpot open up directly onto the sidewalk. Because of this, the homeless that come for help often line up for service on the street and nearby curb. Some are there for many different reasons. In order to get food sometimes, many people will take out title loans online for some extra cash.
The councilman who was pursuing this new nuisance law was saying that the main problem is around apartments and businesses. He doesn't feel like the church is a problem that is needing to be addressed. The police chief of Dallas wants to work with the church and the city to get things under control. The goal is to form a partnership where both parties work together in order to eliminate the criminal elements in the area. People who are working with The Stewpot have stated they will be watching closely how the new nuisance law will be enforced in the area. The law itself is going to last longer than anyone who is currently enforcing it. Because of this, Cobb feels that it is necessary to ensure that the law is written in the correct manner.
In the nearby area, just a couple blocks away from the church, The Bridge has expanded their outreach under their new city contract. This is to help more of the homeless in the area get off of the streets and into housing.
It's Quick, Easy and Painless
You don't have to tell anyone about the homeless situation in Dallas. It is clearly a problem that anyone can see. Most people in the area feel badly about how many homeless Dallas citizens there actually are. It is clear to some that the city is failing in their efforts to help the problem. A recent audit has brought this issue to light. It includes a 55-page script outlining issues that could potentially result in the city losing millions of dollars in federal funding because of their failed efforts.
The audit was conducted by Kinton and it was found that Dallas is not spending the funds from the federal government in a timely manner. This has resulted in the city having to return more than $500,000 over the last couple of years. The audit also concluded that the city is doing an inadequate job of overseeing the city's Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance. The alliance is a non-profit, private initiative that is in charge of carrying out the services for the homeless.
Particularly, the audit also brought to light a grim picture of how ineffective the new record-keeping system really is. The MDHA had hired a company to create the software that had no prior experience in this type of record-keeping in order to track the services of the homeless programs. Additionally, it was bought through a noncompetitive process which violated the rules of the federal government. Because of this, the city is going to possibly lose some of its federal funding.