A new homeless shelter inspired by Haven for Hope may be coming to Dallas.

Mark Melton is an attorney currently serving as CEO of the nonprofit Dallas Eviction Advocacy Center, which provides free legal services to tenants facing eviction.

Now, he is aiming to launch “Haven for the Homeless” in Dallas, and he discussed the project with Sarah Zubiate Bennett on the latest episode of The Dallas Express Podcast.

Melton explained that Haven for the Homeless will be modeled after Haven for Hope in San Antonio, which innovated the “one-stop-shop” approach to homelessness by offering all kinds of supportive services on the same campus as housing facilities.

“How can we bring something like that to Dallas?” Melton asked. “We have formed a non-profit organization called Haven for the Homeless … We’re actively looking for real estate around Dallas County where we could put a facility like this, which is not a small feat.”

Haven for Hope’s campus in San Antonio takes up roughly 22 acres. Melton said Haven for the Homeless may need to be even bigger.

“We’re beginning to have these conversations with elected officials [and] with other leaders in the nonprofit homelessness apparatus to try and figure out what really are the gaps in our system of care here in Dallas and how do we fill them in a way that makes it as easy as possible for these people to cross the bridge from point A to point B in a way that they can become productive citizens again,” he explained.

“Ninety percent of these people are not chronically homeless,” he continued. “They just need a little bit of help, maybe a little bit of job retraining, interventions that we could really do fairly cheaply.”

Melton said he has spoken with District 7 Council Member Adam Bazaldua about finding a location for the facility.

“We’ve had several conversations, and he is very supportive of this idea,” he said.

Melton added that one roadblock with many housing projects is that everyone is supportive of the project in theory, but no one wants it near their neighborhood.

“It’s going to require a whole lot of grit from our elected officials to stand up and say, ‘It’s got to be somewhere, and we’re going to find a place that is best suited to serve the mission,'” he explained. “Some people might not like it, and that’s okay, but it takes courage to lead and be a statesman and not just a politician.”

Melton said Bazaldua has “expressed a lot of openness to being that leader and to helping us.”

He noted that the location would need reliable public transportation so that clients could get to a job and participate in other elements of society as they get back on their feet.

The “one-stop-shop” strategy of Haven for Hope has been credited with a 77% reduction in homelessness in San Antonio. This model has polled favorably among local residents but has yet to be fully implemented in Dallas.

Meanwhile, polling has shown that Dallasites remain frustrated with homelessness, vagrancy, and panhandling throughout the city.