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Feeding the Unsheltered Chicken Curry One Meal at a Time

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Photo via hdnpinternational.org

When Devi David Acharya was a child, he envisioned himself helping the starving who have nowhere to go. That’s because, while living in a remote area of Nepal, his parents lived below the poverty line. 

“We were not homeless but sometimes we didn’t eat a meal because there was no food,” he told Dallas Express.  

Some 33 years after immigrating to the U.S., Devi is living that dream. He launched a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization in Arlington, TX called HDNP International in 2012. 

“It stands for Helping Desperate and Needy People for individuals who have nowhere to go and nowhere to live,” said Acharya, president of HDNP International. “It’s for people living under bridges who are desperately hungry and need food. We find jobs for them. We find cheaper apartments for them and try to help the homeless become independent. That is our main goal.” 

There are 4,570 people who are experiencing homelessness in the Dallas metropolitan area, according to the United Way of Dallas. Of those unsheltered individuals, nine out of 10 are 24 years or older and one out of 12 are children and teens. Some 370 are military veterans and more than 52% are black families. 

“With our 20 to 25 volunteers, we cook and serve them a hot meal of chicken curry, rice, pinto beans, and salad,” Acharya said in an interview. “During the Christmas season we distribute 250 dry blankets to the community of homeless people in Dallas and 250 to the homeless community in Fort Worth,” he said. “Our mission is very simple, which is to help the homeless and the hungry.” 

HDNP International has fed 14,000 people since 2012 in Dallas and Fort Worth and aims to feed up to 500 twice a month, which costs about $1,500. Acharya’s goal is to eventually provide free transportation for the homeless. 

“I would like to buy a big van that seats 15 passengers and offer free rides for the homeless people who need a ride to work, to the pharmacy, to a friend or family member’s home or anywhere they want to go in the area,” he said. “Transportation is a big problem here. The bus service is not like in other cities and the bus costs money, too.” 

Although in 2017 HDNP International received the Global Humanitarian Award from Gov. Gregg Abbott, funding is still a challenge for Acharya who operates the DFW Disc Golf Center in Arlington and drives an Uber.  

“We are funding HDNP International ourselves,” he said. “Our friends help with 20%, and we pay the remaining 80%. Our annual gala is coming up on Saturday, October 9th at the Rolling Hills Country Club. We are selling tickets to raise money.” 

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