The Shared Housing Center in Dallas, Texas, results from the Texas Department of Aging, Access Center for the Elderly, the Dallas Area Agency, and Catholic Charities of Dallas all working together to build one homeless shelter system. In 1987, they became an official nonprofit organization. The Shared Housing Center is more than just a homeless shelter, though. They also offer programs for children and self-help programs to promote financial and mental stability among the homeless population staying in their shelters.
The Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 was devastating for millions. It thrust many into poverty, unemployment, homelessness, and other life-altering scenarios. United Way cited Texas as being the second-highest state for eviction rates in 2020. For example, the City of Houston had 16,563, trailing just behind Pheonix, Arizona at 16,685.
The Shared Housing Center has two distinct sections, with another one on the way. These sections are the Group Residence Shelter and the Homeshare & Homeshare CARE Program, with the Green Haus Community on the way. The Group Residence Shelter provides care and shelter specifically for single parents, mothers who have kids with them, and adults over fifty.
The Homeshare & Homeshare CARE Programs pair people who have housing with people who don’t. It’s sort of like housing a foreign exchange student in the sense that you temporarily lend a portion of your home to them. The average homeowner in this situation is an older widow with housing to spare. It is typically an older woman who is lonely or whose family may be far away. Another of the main demographics is young widows or young divorced women in need of a roommate to help with finical needs. By pairing up both the homeless person and the person in need of help, the Sharing Housing Center creates a win-win situation that brings people from different walks of life together.
The current average length of stay is three months in the Group Residency. However, the organization does state there is room for flexibility depending on each guest’s social, economic, and financial status. Staying in the Group Residence provides access to classes that teach budgeting tips, financial management, senior citizen classes, and other life skills. They cater to certain groups, such as having the quarterly ‘Mother’s Night Out’ event or the monthly recreational program for children in the home. In the Group Residence home, each person and their family get a private bedroom and bathroom, sharing things like the living quarters and the kitchen with other individuals or families staying in the home. This home is aimed more towards a longer-term residence and created tight-knit social groups amongst the guests.