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Thursday, December 1, 2022
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Hispanic Community Disapproves of Homeless Shelter Planned Near School

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The former University General Hospital | Image by NBC DFW

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At a Dallas Independent School District board meeting last week, Oak Cliff residents spoke out against a proposed facility for the homeless in their neighborhood. The facility would be located at an old hospital directly across the street from an elementary school.

In January, the Dallas City Council voted during a closed executive session to purchase the former University General Hospital for $6.5 million. The hospital, vacant since 2014, is located at 2929 South Hampton Rd. across the street from the Jimmie Tyler Brashear Elementary School, the Hampton-Illinois Branch Library, and Kiest Park.

The Real Deal, a real estate news publication, reported that before the vote to purchase the building, city council members said the hospital conversion would not produce a “homeless shelter,” describing their plan for it as a “resource center.” The proposal includes using the building’s medical facilities to offer healthcare services to the local community.

Councilman Casey Thomas, who represents the district where the structure is located, has previously been emphatic in his point that the building will not be a homeless shelter.

“The only thing that’s happened is the City has purchased the site using bond funds for homeless services, not a homeless shelter,” Thomas said in October. “Let me say that again: there will not be a homeless shelter.”

However, he stated that homeless people would be housed in the building. According to the City’s proposal, the property will be developed for “affordable and supportive housing” as well as homeless and medical services.

“There’s a vetting process for anyone who will be considered to live there,” Thomas said, explaining the City has assembled a work group to determine the building’s residents. “Once they have a place to stay, they’re no longer homeless. That will be their home.”

Despite such assurances from the city council, not all local residents are on board with the proposal. Christina Bristow and Eva Rodriguez, members of the community workgroup formed to advise the City about the project, spoke out at the open comment session of the school board because they feel they have been ignored by the city council.

Rodriguez told The Dallas Express that a majority of the school and surrounding neighborhood is Hispanic, yet the council members did not consider their concerns and did not provide translation during meetings on the subject. “The Hispanic community was not involved in the process,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez is concerned about the uncertainty of what a ‘homeless shelter’ could bring to their community. “We don’t know if the people they’re bringing here [may] have drug addictions or mental illness.”

Bristow told The Dallas Express that they were trying to convince the City of Dallas not to open the ‘shelter’ before it closed the deal.

“We’re on the workforce group. And we’ve been opposed to this from Day 1,” she said. “These parents and teachers deserve a peaceful and quiet place.”

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Shannon
Shannon
7 days ago

“We don’t know if the people they’re bringing here [may] have drug addictions or mental illness.” well the purpose of this is to HELP THOSE WHO NEED THE HELP BECAUSE OF DRUG ADDICTION AND MEDICAL FOR THE MENTALLY UNSTABLE.

David
David
7 days ago

Any member of the Dallas city council that voted for a homeless shelter (or anything that houses the homeless) across the street from an elementary school needs to have mental exam. This is pathetic!

Charlene mcclelland
Charlene mcclelland
7 days ago

Well if not in their neighborhood, it would be mine! The city will do whatever they decide regardless.

Skanky Foulbert
Skanky Foulbert
7 days ago

How exactly is the council responsible for the Hispanic community not being involved, because they didn’t provide translators. If you’re in a foreign country, and you don’t feel it necessary to learn the language of that country, but you want to make decisions concerning those who did learn the language, you need to find someone to translate for you, or just remain ignorant, instead of laying your burdens on the shoulders of everyone else and expecting the work to be done for you. This arrogance is exactly what’s destroying this nation. If you don’t require immigrants to do anything for themselves, don’t be surprised that they throw their trash on the ground, complain incessantly, have zero loyalty to their host, and have zero respect for the hosts laws.

Fed Up With Dallas County
Fed Up With Dallas County
6 days ago

Do any of us really believe for one minute that the City Council even has the capability to be truthful?