City-Bought Hotels for Homeless Remain Vacant

Homeless Hotels
The former TownHouse Suites Hotel | Image by Noah DeGarmo/The Dallas Express

The City of Dallas has used taxpayer dollars to purchase three facilities to house the homeless that remain vacant.

Council Member Cara Mendelsohn raised this issue during a Monday meeting of the City Council Housing & Homelessness Solutions Committee.

“We’ve bought a hotel in District 8 [and] in District 1. We’ve got the hospital on Hampton [Road],” she said. “These are three facilities that we’ve already purchased that are vacant.”

Office of Homeless Solutions Director Christine Crossley responded that two of those three locations “are about to be under active construction or are under active construction” but did not specify which locations.

The Dallas Express reached out to the City for additional information but received no response by press time.

Crossley explained that the facilities are intended to be “a way to long-term house people so we can move them out of the shelters.”

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the City has purchased four hotels to be used for homeless services:

  • The former TownHouse Suites Hotel at 4150 Independence Drive.
  • The former Hotel Miramar at 1950 Fort Worth Avenue.
  • The former Candlewood Suites at 19373 Preston Road.
  • The former Gateway Hotel at 8102 Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway.

The latter two locations were renovated into Family Gateway North and St. Jude Center Park Central, respectively. The first two remain unused.

The also-vacant former hospital on Hampton Road in Oak Cliff referenced by Mendelsohn sparked an outcry last year when the City announced plans to convert the facility into a “homeless services” center without consulting the community.

Residents were upset that the planned homeless services center was across the street from an elementary school, as previously covered by The Dallas Express.

The subject of these vacant facilities came up during a discussion between Crossley and council members about the availability of homeless shelter beds throughout the City.

Mendelsohn, who has been publicly critical of the City’s handling of the homelessness crisis, praised Crossley “for stepping up and making sure people had a place to go.”

Crossley noted that “there has been an overflow need by shelters that they have supplemented with hotels for a long time,” and added that the City would soon spend $1 million on additional contracts with local organizations to provide transitional housing for the homeless.

The need for more homeless response services has grown in recent years as homelessness and vagrancy have reached critical levels in Dallas.

The majority of Dallas voters view homelessness and vagrancy as serious problems in the City, according to a March survey conducted by The Dallas Express.

While the City government’s strategy for addressing homelessness employs a “Housing First” approach, research has shown that “housing first” solutions are “doomed to failure” because they “begin with an inadequate diagnosis of the causes” and fail to adequately address underlying causes such as mental illness and drug abuse, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

The City of Dallas continues to spend millions of taxpayer dollars fighting this “scourge,” as Mayor Eric Johnson has called it. Still, the City has yet to employ the approach favored by many locals of a one-stop-shop for homeless people.

This approach has proven successful in San Antonio through the nonprofit Haven for Hope.

Support our non-profit journalism


  1. Bret

    Stop squelching the economy with unnecessary regulations and taxes that impedes job growth. If the y are working then they can have shelter that they can rent or own. Like the rest of us. Government buying motels to fix a problem caused by government???These motels will be slums in no time. If people have job opportunities then they will prosper if they want it. The others are mentally disturbed Or believe they are entitled to other peoples money. Help the disturbed, let the others figure it out.

    • Jay

      So a guy shows up to your job wearing dirty clothes, unwashed in days; and he ask you for work. What will you do? You will tell him to piss off. If you have no home, no place to get clean…then no one is going to give you a job.

      • fed up with Dallas County

        If a guy shows up as a well-dressed white Christian man who doesn’t meet the employer’s Diversity, Inclusion and Equity (DIE) requirements you’ll be told to piss off as well “Jay.”

        The end game is to make everyone poor.

  2. Djea3

    The problem is government involvement in homelessness to begin with. Prior to the “new deal” and WPA homelessness was handled through churches’ outreach programs. The government was never involved. Then the government took over for the churches and even used the churches, but required that they begin to end ministry as part of their services to get government money. Donations to churches wained with taxation.

    With the WPA and “new deal” came taxes and government involvement. The problem with that is that churches helped anyone and everyone, but if they did not wish to help themselves the churches eventually got the word out between themselves that the person(s) involved were not helping themselves. Then the churches refused to help them (rightfully so).

    I hate to say this but by having “charity” there was an embarrassment and an answerability. Those in need had to help themselves as well as being helped or get NO help

    Currently, what we have is an ENTITLEMENT for those tens of thousands that do not wish to be productive in society. Most are professional bums absorbing government handouts. Many use emergency departments of hospitals as shelter at a cost of $2500 per night and feel entitled to this at our cost. It is this sense of entitlement and the preying on the good will of society that is wrong. Society need to harden up and decide that failure of the in need to help themselves should end help at ALL levels. That use of emergency and other resources for their own personal benefit without returning value to society shall not be tolerated.

    IF we are to help those in need we need harder and harsher rules. Drug and alcohol testing to begin with. Evidence of drug use over three tests and you are out of the system forever, blacklisted. more than one for theft or any arrest for violence while being aided and you are out, for good. Being drunk in emergency housing, and you are out for good. Use of emergency services when no emergency existed and you are out for good.

    Lastly, every person in need of help should have to give a complete list of family members and friends, even HS friends. The system should be contacting those family members/friends and arranging the return to family of anyone possible. A bus ticket and a few dollars is a lot cheaper than the perpetual cost of having someone live permanently here without desire to help themselves and without personal resources. Family and old friends are resources.

    Conclusion: the “contract with society” does include aiding the infirm and those PHYSICALLY incapable of helping themselves. It does NOT include helping those who CHOOSE to remain homeless and or addicted. Those in government need to understand the difference and stop abusing our tax moneys by enabling this kind of abuse.

    • Michelle

      While you have good points, nobody wants to read a novel to see you have preferences that may not have anything to do with homelessness. God help you if you ever fall below where you need to be and have nobody to help you. Yes, some people in the streets chose to be out there, and because of people with your attitude, they’ll continue to chose to be out there. What do you suggest if these good ideas don’t work: exile them to another area, island or country. Isn’t this the same reason the southern border is open? IT’S ALL ABOUT MONEY. Most of us cannot work 100 hours a week to find we’re still only made half the damn rent. Where is the low income housing? Where is it?

      • fed up with Dallas County

        “Where is the low income housing? Where is it?”

        Answer: During the covid scamdemic the CDC allowed renters to not pay rent. This forced independent low income landlords to sell their properties in distress who were then purchased by Blackrock and other large funds. Rents were then raised and there were less low-income properties available.

        This is part of the Great Reset design. “You will own nothing, be happy and will eat bugs.”

    • fed up with Dallas County

      Your conclusion is spot-on.

  3. PMac

    Again, Cara Mendelsohn is carrying the load for city council and city government. Where is everyone else? This city loves to spend taxpayers money.

    • Charles Moncrief

      And give precious little value for our money.

    • fed up with Dallas County

      During the BLM/Antifa tantrums in 2020 I wrote the council members and explained to them that the City’s failure to protect life, property and represent the interests of residents would doom Dallas into a death spiral which has occurred. Ms. Mendelsohn, who does not represent my district, was the only council member who had the decency to respond.

  4. Charles Moncrief

    I figured it was because nobody wants the job of cleaning up after the occupants.

  5. Tee

    Why couldn’t construction begin upon the purchase of these facilities? While one could be finished the next could be underway in renovation. It’s too many vague answers to many clear questions. Our tax dollars deserve to see an actual manifested harvest. I’ve been back in Texas since 2016 and it’s now 2023. I had suggestions but no one answered my emails to inquire more.

  6. Karen

    If there aren’t wraparound services offered, then there is no incentive for the homeless to change their lives. There is also a lack of case workers to follow up. We can’t stick a homeless person in housing and call it good. They need long term guidance and care.

  7. Wolfgang

    Fact is the government doesn’t care about us homeless and 99.9999% of society don’t care. What everyone does care about is ensuring you have more than you need and protecting what you have as you take and demand more. Meanwhile we are left behind forgotten about will do whatever we must to survive and be the scapegoats for the real problems and real criminals

  8. Lanie

    This city wastes so much money so I’m not surprised that the tax payers have paid for hotels to be used for the homeless and yet none of these hotels are ready to accept the homeless.

  9. LaNeisa Jackson

    JOKE? There is no one living here either….

    Dallas City & County, Irving CoC
    Homeless Referral Contact
    Ms. Shavon Moore
    [email protected]
    (972) 638-5600

    The Continuum of Care (CoC) Program is designed to promote community wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness;

  10. Jay

    All of you that have a problem with the city’s approach to the homeless problem, where is your solution? Most of you want to complain and moan but you will never show up to feed or clothe the homeless. You will not show up to drive one nail to build them shelter. What you will do is sit in your comfortable homes and look down your nose at your fellow Texans who are dealing with their misfortune the best they can.

  11. sense

    so anyone let the homeless know there are these options? how about employing the homeless on jobs on these projects or in the maintenance therein so they can move on to bigger a better jobs?

    • Michelle

      Now there’s an idea. Give them a job. Bring back low income housing. Give them a reason to straighten things up.

  12. Roy Getting

    Build it and they will come is also true for the homeless.

    • fed up with Dallas County

      The City of Dallas’ “Field of Dreams” looks like Austin.

  13. Shavon P

    We are state certified recovery homes here in Dallas providing sober living programs to low income underserved women, men and young adults in recovery from substance misuse and mental illness. We would love to run it, our whole mission is about change and saving lives, relapse, overdose, homelessness and recidivism prevention and even though we have been doing this 5 years, we do not have one source to call and get help for our residents to prevent their homelessness. I do wonder who are they supporting because since the beginning of this preventing homeless initiative, it has not one time assisted our residents in our recovery housing program. We do get support to provide housing to a few young people in recovery ages 18 to 25 but it comes from BeWell and UT Health San Antonio. Dallas county – not at all.



  1. City Homeless Dept. Requests $35M From Bond – Round Up DFW - […] but it has not solved the problem. In fact, these hotels are reportedly not even in use and have…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article