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Saturday, September 24, 2022
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Dallas’ Homeless, Vagrants Favor One-Stop Services Solution

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Up to 300 homeless men and women have been calling the area under the I-45 Bridge home In Dallas | Image by City of Dallas

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Logan Cline sleeps nightly under an Interstate 635 bridge, where The Dallas Express visited him on Monday and asked him to recall how he ended up homeless in Dallas.

His story involves many elements of a country song – a woman, Budweiser, and youthful pride.


Heading into his eighth year of homelessness, the woman is done gone, and 30-something shame has replaced youthful pride, but Cline’s thirst for beer is stronger than before.

“I admit I need help,” he told The Dallas Express while eating a sausage and egg biscuit at 9 a.m. “I want a beer right now.”

Like thousands of homeless and vagrants across Dallas, addiction is one of many reasons they live on the streets. Average citizens and the homeless or vagrant themselves agree Dallas City Council is failing to address the issue seriously.

City council and the mayor often issue press releases and make public statements, but the homeless and vagrant population continues to grow.

One city that stopped talking and took action is San Antonio, which created a one-stop homeless service center called Haven for Hope, a “transformational campus” that offers services for homeless individuals and families.

Haven for Hope is a 22-acre area outside San Antonio, where the homeless and vagrant population has access to three meals daily, safe sleeping quarters, shower facilities, and medical care. They can also receive mental health and substance abuse services, job training, and work towards earning their GED certificates.

Haven for Hope also assists the homeless and vagrants in obtaining social security and military benefits if they qualify.

When told of San Antonio’s Haven for Hope recently, several of Dallas’ homeless said they were willing to go if the city offered it.

“Sign me up; anything is better than here,” said a man who only gave his name as “The Don.” In a homeless encampment along John W. Carpenter Freeway, “The Don” lives with three other men in two tents hidden by brush. The encampment is littered with shopping carts, garbage, and a broken bicycle.

A homeless woman said her safety is always a concern. Amanda Bauserman, who also sleeps under an I-635 bridge, tries to sleep during the day because it is safer. She related stories of attacks she and other homeless women have experienced.

“It’s not safe out here, and it’s especially not safe for us,” she said, referring to females. She said she has been attacked a few times. Bauserman said the homeless do not call the police when an attack happens because law enforcement either “does not come” or “treats them disrespectfully.”

Nearly two-thirds of respondents to a poll conducted by The Dallas Express said they support limiting the homeless and vagrant population to a specific area where services are offered rather than allowing them to roam the city.

A large majority — 65% versus 35% — of those polled responded in the affirmative when asked, “Do you support a plan to require the homeless and vagrants to occupy only one small specific area of town where all the homeless services are located, instead of roaming wherever they like?”

With a majority of Dallas residents and even the homeless and vagrant population favoring a similar solution to the problem, why aren’t council members acting? It is a question The Dallas Express has asked council members but that has so far gone unanswered.

In an interview with The Dallas Express, the organization’s director of communications, Terri Behling, said cities such as Dallas can mirror Haven for Hope by “bringing together community organizations that serve those experiencing homelessness and getting the ‘buy-in’ from your community.”

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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E. Sullivan
E. Sullivan
7 days ago

Yes, it would be better for the the City And all the organizations that provide services to the homeless. I’ve had a recent encounter with a young mentally ill homeless man around Knox Street and have lived in the area for over 35 years, I don’t feel safe anymore. Time to take action!!

Tony Smith
Tony Smith
Reply to  E. Sullivan
7 days ago

I can totally relate to what you are saying here. I’ve also lived as a homeowner for over 35 years in Oaklawn and you can spot the mentally ill that come in and out of the area as they stick out from your regular homeless. We had our home entered last December from a kitchen door by a homeless vagrant while we were upstairs and they got away with over 2k worth of valuables from downstairs, not to mention my wallet! Replacing everything that was in a wallet, like DL, credit cards, vaccine card etc. was a total nightmare. Worse than anything stolen. Some items were personal and sentimental. One vagrant that I caught on camera, that I chased down even told me which of the other homeless kids came in and stole all those items while we were at home. 5 mins. or less is all it takes to get away with a lot. I bought a camera for just that door now with a siren, motion light and speaker on it by Ring. Letting the homeless wander the alleys with Target shopping carts and setting up camp in alleys of Dallas needs to come to an end and solution. I am in favor of a location (Dallas has a lot of land) where they can go and receive services.

Pat Boyd
Pat Boyd
7 days ago

Of course the respondents to the poll want to limit where homeless people are kept, and I’m guessing they want it in a place they don’t have to see them – like Downtown / South Dallas and Oak Cliff.
How about we open a homeless center in say the Park Cities, Preston Center, where’s there’s lots of money and resources?

Christina Belcher
Christina Belcher
Reply to  Pat Boyd
7 days ago

Exactly hiding is not ok, this is about making this known with a solution! Let’s go!!!

Ken
Ken
7 days ago

Dallas does nothing at 635. The homeless know that and that’s why they go there. Farmers Branch wants to but has no jurisdiction.

C.C.C
C.C.C
7 days ago

How much will this cost the tax payers? Where does this money come from? Also how about those receiving services submit to drug/alcohol tests to receive care?

Last edited 7 days ago by C.C.C
Christina Belcher
Christina Belcher
Reply to  C.C.C
7 days ago

This can be ran like the Samaritan Inn in mckinney, the community/non profit and have party’s and raising awareness and money there is ways to do this without taxing the people, and even if it did tax us, we are doing what is right, that’s what matters, we are community then we stop 🛑 and make a change. We spend tax on a lot of other things that are not human, so I’m all in for the homeless.

Ronny
Ronny
Reply to  C.C.C
6 days ago

What does it matter about the costs … they need help ! If we can take in several illegal immigrants because of the President , we should be able to take care of our own homeless . The President of the US should recognize this issue as well and help the people in our country before letting more illegals in ! Trust me , we are all taking in those costs !!

Kris
Kris
Reply to  Ronny
1 day ago

IF you are not native american or forced here though slavery then you are an immigrant or descendent of an immigrant.

Christina Belcher
Christina Belcher
7 days ago

I’m an ambassador for the Samaritan Inn in Mckinney and have been for many years, I was a single mom homeless and thank God for them! This is a HUGE problem and if we call ourselves community and yet don’t take care of the weakest then we are failing as a community. I am in!!! And maybe we need to rally for the homeless! To be heard and seen. Addiction is a real problem and they need us to help if they want help, which most of them do. It’s up to us leaders to take a stand and make it happen. Let’s represent in Texas, so that other states will follow. We are the ones in this state that take a stand for the people and they are people too. So let’s move!

Betsy Whitfill
Betsy Whitfill
7 days ago

Kudos to Dallas Express for its in-depth reporting. The San Antonio Haven for Hope appears to be a serious role model for Dallas to mimic. If Mayor Johnson, who is going to run for a second term, is looking for a big headline to use, he would do well to initiate a campaign to end homeless camps in Dallas. If our City Council has a heart, it will leave politics aside and get on this bandwagon for the sake of Dallas’ future. Pitting the homeless people against the housed people who pay taxes only delays what must eventually be done.

Jay Moore
Jay Moore
7 days ago

I encourage the city to consider this option. I worry for the safety of the homeless under 635 and the residents of the area. I’ve lived in nw dallas now nearly 10 years and the growth in homeless population has become rather disturbing.

Tee
Tee
7 days ago

Dallas has to stop charging the homeless $15 a day to sleep in the homeless shelters. Add that up 7 days a week! They’re back in the street by the 3rd night. Some have limited income and of course others go from 7-11 to 7-11 waiting on patrons to hand out money since they know about cash back options on debit cards. Again with this $70M they received, a plan of action should’ve already been ready to be implemented upon the receipt if such monies. They’re still trying to figure out what to do. Start with the Bible and go from there. All solutions lie within that BOOK!

ArtV
ArtV
7 days ago

San Antonio intervention should be followed by other cities as it makes sense and makes a difference.

Emily
Emily
6 days ago

I was homeless once and yes it was dangerous for women and yes the police do treat the most people unfairly we are people just like the rest of the world.

Gggg
Gggg
6 days ago

200 acres 20 miles away
Male camp
Female camp
General services

Suzanne Griffin
Suzanne Griffin
6 days ago

I have toured the Haven in SA and it is a well thought out community. The ones recovering are in a different area just like a 30 day rehab. The families have their own area. Beautiful playground. Doctors, dentists, all other services, oh the list goes on.

Karen Eubank
Karen Eubank
6 days ago

What about the Dallas homeless shelter with on-site services – The Bridge” ? Why can’t that be duplicated ?

Emmy e
Emmy e
6 days ago

MHMR tarrant county provides mental health and addiction services along with other services to the homeless and other uninsured members of our community, with the help of grants and volunteer services. MHMR serves tarrant, Dallas, Denton and other counties. Our iCare hotline is a quick access point for anyone who is interested in services, from addicting to early childhood intervention. 817-569-4300

Last edited 6 days ago by Emmy e