Dallasites Decry Homelessness, Vagrancy

Homeless man sleeping on a sidewalk
Homeless man sleeping on a sidewalk | Image by Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock

Dallas residents are still frustrated with homelessness, vagrancy, and panhandling, according to a recent poll conducted by The Dallas Express.

A survey of Dallasites found that 76.5% were dissatisfied with homelessness, vagrancy, and panhandling both in their neighborhoods and throughout Dallas. Additionally, 70.7% of respondents said they were dissatisfied with the number of visible homeless encampments in the city.

Furthermore, the poll indicated a larger trend of resident dissatisfaction with the direction Dallas is heading in, with 69.8% of respondents saying Dallas is “on the wrong track” regarding crime, homelessness, city cleanliness, building permitting, and business regulations.

Residents were also critical of City Manager T.C. Broadnax, with 67.6% of respondents disapproving of his performance as it pertains to the aforementioned municipal issues.

In a previous poll conducted by The Dallas Express in August, 81.8% of residents said they were unhappy with homelessness, vagrancy, and panhandling.

The Office of Homeless Solutions has a campaign against panhandling called “Give Responsibly” that encourages generous Dallasites to donate to nonprofits and homeless response organizations rather than give directly to panhandlers.

The City of Dallas has pursued several homelessness response initiatives, including transitional housing projects. Still, many of them have been plagued with issues that some Dallas City Council members have called out.

Meanwhile, Haven for Hope has been credited with reducing homelessness by 77% in San Antonio. Haven offers a “one-stop-shop” for homeless services, offering housing on the same campus as other services such as counseling, addiction rehabilitation, and job skills training.

The model has polled favorably among Dallas residents. Mayor Eric Johnson even visited Haven for Hope in August, but it remains to be seen whether the City of Dallas will pursue a similar “one-stop-shop” strategy.

Mayor Johnson has previously said he left the Democratic Party and became a Republican in part because left-wing policies serve only to exacerbate issues like homelessness and crime rather than solve them.

However, Council Member Adam Bazaldua (District 7) previously countered the mayor’s assertions, claiming that “a lot of the successes [Johnson] has been touting, like Dallas being one of the safest large cities in America, [are] because of policies passed by a majority Democrat city council.”

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