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Poll | Dallas Dems: Homelessness a ‘Serious Problem’

City

Homeless tents on sidewalk | Image by Shutterstock

Recent polling of Dallas residents conducted by The Dallas Express reveals strong opinions on homelessness and vagrancy, with a strong majority of both self-identified Democrats and Republicans calling it a “serious problem.”

The survey asked participants if they thought “homelessness, vagrancy, and panhandling” were “serious problems in Dallas.”

Of all those polled, 63% stated “yes,” while 19% stated “no,” and 18% said they were “unsure.”

The Dallas Express reached out to Jacob Lloyd Colglazier, who heads the public safety nonprofit Keep Dallas Safe, for comment on these findings.

Colglazier’s organization bills itself as “dedicated to preserving a safe and prosperous community, supporting responsible law enforcement, and preventing unrest from taking root in Dallas.”

On the near two-thirds majority of Dallas residents who said homelessness, vagrancy, and panhandling are serious problems, Colglazier remarked, “I think it exposes the dishonesty and negligence of our city leadership.”

He continued, “The mayor, the city council, and the District Attorney constantly claim that the issue is being dealt with, but Dallas residents can see with their own eyes that this is a lie.”

“Homelessness is clearly a problem in Dallas, and city leadership could solve it simply by enforcing the vagrancy/panhandling laws already on the books,” Colglazier concluded.

When breaking down the respondents based on their political affiliations, a clear majority of both Democrats and Republicans answered that these issues were a serious problem plaguing the city.

Respondents who identified as moderate Democrats agreed at a higher rate than respondents who identified as moderate Republicans, 73% to 63%.

In fact, moderate Democrats were the group most likely to call homelessness, vagrancy, and panhandling a serious problem based on the findings.

Those who self-identified as “far-left” Democrats were more evenly split, with 41% answering “yes,” 35% answering “no,” and 24% claiming they were unsure.

The Dallas Express reached out to Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and each member of the Dallas City Council for comment on these findings and what they planned to do to address these issues.

As of the writing of this article, neither the mayor nor any member of the council had responded.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Mayor Johnson included addressing Dallas’ “scourge of homelessness” in his November State of the City address.

Claiming that the City has been “clearing and cleaning [homeless] encampments” by the “hundreds,” Johnson admitted more work needed to be done, so he was assembling a task force to assist.

“Their North Star will be simple, and it’s this: we need solutions,” Johnson said.

We welcome and appreciate comments on The Dallas Express as part of a healthy dialogue. We do ask that you be kind. Kind to each other and to everyone else in your comments. For more information, please refer to our Complete Comment Moderation Policy.

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Tommy
Tommy
1 month ago

Dallas, and city leadership could solve it simply by enforcing the vagrancy/panhandling laws already on the books. Question, what laws are on the books that have not been declared unconstitutional by the courts?

J S
J S
Reply to  Tommy
1 month ago

That creates more of a problem. But people like you who are self centered and greedy believe in kicking people while they’re down rather than helping them find real solutions . Rather than be a hateful bigot help the most vulnerable and stay being part of the problem

Djea3
Djea3
Reply to  J S
1 month ago

It seems that you are more of the problem than you wish to admit. I bet that you love to tax others to provide for those that will not help themselves.

Studies have PROVEN that when government is involved, those recipients of aid are not likely to improve their own condition.
However, when INDIVIDUALS help other individuals, there is a definite and marked difference in the number of recipients that improve their own condition.

The reason for this is that “government” money and aid is considered a “RIGHT” BY RECIPIENTS. AND THEY BELIEVE THE MONEY (AID) IS FREE (does not cost anyone anything).

But, when an individual or private group gives aid without government assistance, the recipient feels OBLIGATED to raise themselves up and show that they were WORTHY of being helped.

I say that it is time that the government begin to return tax money to the people and end government supplied aid (beyond a very limited amount) started with the NEW deal almost 100 years ago. Let the PEOPLE give the aid through non-profits that have no government money or influence involved.

IT is different when a person in need looks into the eyes of the one giving them the help, vs being handed something by government.

Chris Arnold
Chris Arnold
Reply to  J S
1 month ago

I believe Christ said it this way: whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.

Those of us who care and can do what we can but it’s not enough with the limited resources of a few private citizens.

David Barnett
David Barnett
Reply to  Chris Arnold
1 month ago

So that quote works for both sides of the table. The people who bring filth, pestilence and disease upon us with their unhealthy lifestyles because they are lazy and untrustworthy have their own religious issues. You should not be judging others or describing how others interpret the Bible.

Bret
Bret
1 month ago

Democrats had the highest numbers of people critical to the homeless problem but are the ones who keep voting democrat who are the source of the problem. Are all democrats ignorant????

Last edited 1 month ago by Bret
Don Mummert
Don Mummert
1 month ago

No politicians or governmental entity ever solve problems. The problems are talked and talked about, letters are written and meetings are held, but nothing of substance is ever done. To actually be productive and solve these issues would put many out of a job, and we can’t have that, can we?
Typical bureaucratic inaction.

J S
J S
Reply to  Don Mummert
1 month ago

Thank you. We’ll said. At least someone who responds to these article finally has a clue besides myself.

Ronald Reason
Ronald Reason
Reply to  Don Mummert
1 month ago

Thank you for also providing a good description of the garden variety “internet troll” and calling attention to media outlets that dish out partisan blame, which if anything, worsens the problem.

Housing first; good idea. No more studies, no more blame! Take Action!

https://endhomelessness.org/help-end-homelessness/take-action/

Lateana
Lateana
1 month ago

Everytime the city cleans out a homeless encampment the homeless flock to downtown Dallas. Downtown residents are being subjected to the craziest of the crazy. We cannot walk anywhere without being accosted by ranting and raving violent lunatics and have to cross the street to avoid homeless men exposing themselves or worse.

Concerned Voter
Concerned Voter
Reply to  Lateana
1 month ago

Think you got that wrong. Every time a homeless encampment is cleared is not a license for the homeless to move downtown. They are all over the city. They just move their encampment to a location they were at before the current camp was cleared. The cycle continues.

J S
J S
1 month ago

Anyone with a brain cell or living in the real world.knows it’s a problem and for renters it’s a close to becoming a reality for them.
Sadly local state and federal government refuse to actuly combat the issue. Instead they reward those that make the problem possible and continue to given renters little to zero help. This was even before the pandemic. And sadly too many people either don’t realize the realities of life for most of us nor care that they too contribute to the problems. This shouldn’t be such an issue in today’s society. There shouldn’t be a war on the most vulnerable. Yet here we still are being treated as if we’re less than human and deserving of less than even that

Janet
Janet
Reply to  J S
1 month ago

I feel your pain. And you are right. The government is the only one with the resources to address the problem. After reading the comments in this forum, don’t look for any sympathy, or solutions here. Only finger pointing and the blame game. I don’t know the solutions either, but I believe we must keep pressure on our elected officials to explore all options available, and ignore the noise of those who are quick to point out the failures of programs based on their own political agenda.

Lanie
Lanie
1 month ago

It shouldn’t matter what the political parties think, Dallas needs to deal with homelessness. If the Mayor,City Manager or your city council representative is not dealing with it elect someone who will. We don’t need to get a committee to study it. Just make the decisions and get it done.

Chris Arnold
Chris Arnold
1 month ago

For what it’s worth, I have participated in programs to bring hot meals to the streets and what I have seen is homeless camps, which are completely heartbreaking, being fenced up which just forces these folks to move. The ideas of turning old buildings into temporary housing are fantastic but not happening fast enough. Each year, as winter and NTX extremes are approaching, coupled with our troubled economy which has forced many new folks to the streets, there is a “focus” on what to do and then it gets forgotten about in the spring. A true case of blind eye.

John Gault
John Gault
1 month ago

I moved from Los Angeles to Dallas to escape the out of control homeless problem that state and local governments have ignored for decades. Now I see the same problem springing up here and the same foot dragging excuses echoed by local politicians here. Starting with the WOKE DA and their lack of enforcement of the law and you are now on the fast track to becoming California.
A homeless camp of over 1000 people sprang up along the Santa Ana River terrorizing local residents. Well over 60% of the homeless declined shelter because of the rules they would have to follow in order to live at shelters where drugs and alcohol were not allowed.
You can’t simply “shelter” someone with mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse or with a criminal history.
Start with shutting down the flow of illegal drugs from Mexico and work down from there. You make think homeless is just a local problem but its not. Its being created by the total lack of border enforcement by the Biden administration. This one single issue is killing America faster than you can imagine.

Darryl Baker
Darryl Baker
1 month ago

WOW! All we need is ANOTHER task force. I advise him NOT to do it the way that Councilman Thomas did in District 3.

There was NO Community Engagement on the front end, NO Transparency in the process.

ALL he and the City staff wanted was for the so called Task Force to sign off on a half baked scheme that did not help the Homeless and would ruin the adjacent Neighborhoods of Color WHO HAD NO VOICE IN THIS PROCESS!

David Barnett
David Barnett
1 month ago

If the city is forcing tax payers to fund these new shelters then the city should be destroying every tent city or individual site that they come across. I see it every day, the city comes and warns them and gives them a couple of days to move on, if they do not then the city cleans up the area only to have the same people come back within 72 hours. They are nasty, vulgar, filthy health disasters.

Michael Stapell
Michael Stapell
1 month ago

Hi Christine:

While I appreciate your position and fully understand the resistance of the public and most importantly the council to sanctioned camps. I still believe that the approach the city is taking is inadequate for the population that is to be served. While the optimum result would be to put everyone into permanent structured housing, that is far from realistic given that many of these people will not conform to those changes and the budgetary constraints at hand.
There needs to be an alternative for all of those who chose to live outside. If we are not serving everyone, which we currently are not, we will still be plagued with pop up camps in the most undesirable places. Providing an alternative location that is not under a bridge or on a public right of way will allow the City and your Dept. to enforce those rules set down from the state more vigorously and return this city to a more appropriate appearance.

My vision for sanctioned camps provides an attractive alternative to what this city is doing currently. It has the potential to assist ALL homeless individuals, Those who want help and to change their current situation and those who don’t. The diversion center that I visited although a great program has many drawbacks, for one it is relying on Law Enforcement to provide the program its clients. Even if it was operating at full capacity, it would still is not serving an adequate amount of people. If we put in place at each City sanctioned homeless camp a Diversion center like service then we would be operating at a scale closer to addressing the demand. We can then better address those needs of mental illness treatment and drug rehabilitation, outreach services would have 14 locations instead of 300 locations to deal with. These camps utilizing portable buildings and shipping containers can be made visually in keeping with a first class city and provide a safe and healthy existence for its residents. The shipping containers can serve as visual barriers and both storage or inclement weather shelters. They could be insulated and climate controlled which would reduce the need for emergency relocation during temperature extremes. The temporary nature of these facilities should keep the costs and hopefully red tape to a minimum, while providing the most amount of service possible to the most amount of those who are homeless and allow them to be established in weeks rather than years.

I have Identified the need for 14 of these facilities only because our city is divided into14 council districts giving everyone a bite of this otherwise tasteless sandwich. There is plenty of vacant land in Dallas that can be utilized for such a purpose. Making these facilities temporary would allow the city to rent land and return it back to the owner if he or she needed it back in the future. I’ve identified two places in my district that would serve well as such a location, one of them is a city owned property the other a former apartment complex that has been bulldozed and vacated for 5 years.

Corporate sponsorship of these camps would alleviate some of the financial burden that would otherwise be placed upon the city. We have named AT&T Stadium; American Airlines Center; and Dickies Arena to name a few. What keeps us from involving our philanthropic corporations from contributing to this overwhelming need? Even if all costs were incurred by the city, the fact that all Homeless are being served, allows for a very positive cost benefit analysis. To have our city streets back looking like that of a first class city is more than enough benefit. These camps when done right can be a source of pride for these council members knowing that the street corners and underpasses are no longer an eye sore in their districts.

With these suggested changes the tolerance for those sleeping under highway bridges or other unsightly places can come to an end. With the city not providing an alternative to these sleeping and living locations its becomes punishing and mean to decommission these camps. While your Department is doing all it can to regulate where the homeless can and can not live and sleep, it has become painfully apparent what we are doing currently is not working.

The need for these sanctioned camps is very apparent to me and to those I have talked with that are or were homeless. It is a means to centralize and triage services to better address each persons individual needs. I can’t help but think it would make your job easier and streamline service delivery to the thousands that need it.

The State of Texas and The City of Dallas has said where these people in need can’t live and sleep, now we need to tell them where they can!

If only it were easy to convince others but for now I’ll settle for convincing you.

Thanks for your service.

Sincerely,

Mike Stapell

Delmar Hardin
Delmar Hardin
1 month ago

The US Supreme court has ruled that the homeless can sleep on public property

VEEGEE
VEEGEE
1 month ago

Nothing truly can get done effectively because the Activist are always meddling filing lawsuits, yet what solutions do they bring to the table
Paddlers are standing in the middle of the streets now while traffic is moving or outright blocking traffic…there’s a better way to get assistance but I would say not to levy a $500 fine but make the work it off…Both pandhandlers and homeless leaves to much trash…make them pick it up