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Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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Do the Homeless Really Need More Housing?

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Tents set up on a sidewalk near a building | Image by Shutterstock

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The Dallas Express previously reported that 3,996 people were found to be homeless in Dallas County during an annual 10-day count period in 2022, according to the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance.

Of those individuals, 1,324 are thought to be vagrants, or electively “unsheltered,” which means they do not look for housing in shelters but choose to camp out in areas such as abandoned parking lots, under bridges, or by the side of the road.

Michele Steeb of the Texas Public Policy Foundation believes that cities are taking the wrong approach to effectively getting people off the streets. In an article that she posted to The Cannon Online, Steeb claimed that providing housing alone furthers the homelessness and vagrancy problem.

Despite a 200% increase in federal spending on homelessness and vagrancy assistance in the 10 years leading up to 2019 and a 42.7% increase in the number of permanent housing units reserved for the homeless between 2014 and 2019, the number of unsheltered homeless and vagrant people in the country increased by 20.5%, Steeb stated.

If housing itself could end homelessness and vagrancy, the number of people without shelter would have decreased nationwide, said Steeb. She told The Dallas Express that the federal taxpayer dollars funding the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are being diverted away from programs that could actually help the homeless.

What could help these individuals are resources that seek to eliminate the underlying problems, said Steeb. One such organization is Haven for Hope in San Antonio.

In addition to offering the basic essentials of food, clothing, and shelter, Haven for Hope makes a broader effort to lay the groundwork for long-term solutions that deal with the underlying issues that lead to homelessness and vagrancy.

The idea is to house those who are homeless in community-based living. This allows mental health counselors, addiction counselors, employment training program providers, childcare providers, and other professionals offering different support services to collaborate to help those in the community.

Reporters with The Dallas Express went to a homeless and vagrant encampment on West Mockingbird Lane to ask some of these individuals themselves about what they feel they need.

Tyrone Cash, 24, who stood in his boxer shorts due to the extreme heat, said he would like to see more resources for the homeless, especially those who lack access to a shower.

“The worst part is feeling like you can’t leave that place or feeling like you don’t have any progress,” he said.

When The Dallas Express spoke to Jeremy Nobles, 31, also wearing nothing but his boxers, he said he is waiting on approval to receive disability and sleeping wherever he can for the time being. Nobles also said he has not received any help from the City, and because of the heat, he cannot walk far to seek assistance.

Nobles, who called himself “educationally behind,” admitted to having a drug problem and said he would join a substance abuse program if one were close.

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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Bobby
Bobby
1 month ago

HELL NO LOAD THEM ON BUSES AND SEND THEM TO CALIFORNIA. DRUGGIES – ALCOHOLICS – RUNNING FROM THE LAW / HIDING – LAZY PARASITES ETC ETC

Cricket
Cricket
1 month ago

The problem with being homeless goes deeper than just being on the streets. Many of our homeless folks have mental, drug addictions, abuse from relatives or rejection of friends; it’s myriad issues. It’s more a spiritual erosion and being homeless is the manifestation of it. Until the internal gets fixed the external will be exponential. Prayer, putting the Word of God back on the buildings and ministering right down to the needs of “our” people pray then some changes could and would take place.

Sandy
Sandy
1 month ago

Dallas should look at Chicago. Downtown Chicago is one of the cleanest most diverse downtowns I’ve ever seen. It’s absolutely stunning. I was shocked when I visited in July, and wondered about why only saw 2 homeless people. While we were out we accidentally wandered into the underground and boom homeless people. Chicago doesn’t allow any panhandling on the street level and they have a thriving downtown. As a third generation resident of Dallas, I am embarrassed at the state of downtown. There is absolutely no excuse for it and our homeless population is spreading further and further. Why would anyone want to visit Dallas? How much money are we losing from tourism or business growth? Between that and our roads I’m absolutely disgusted at the state of this city. We can do better.

AhmNee
AhmNee
Reply to  Sandy
1 month ago

How many people were murdered in Chicago while you visited?

Anna Williams
Anna Williams
Reply to  AhmNee
1 month ago

Dallas has a high murder rate. The first city everyone always speak ill of is Chicago.
We need to clean-up our own State. The gun capital of America.
Number one in human trafficking.
Drugs and don’t blame the border, blame the politicians in Texas.
I pray for the children in Texas because we need a nation wide Curfew. Now it’s 2am in the morning, do you know where your child is and what are they doing.

Anna Williams
Anna Williams
Reply to  Sandy
1 month ago

Amen, thanks for caring but we do need to get the homeless off the street.
They can help clean the streets and charge the homeless for housing.
I know some have PTSD but they can
Work.

Phinaldi
Phinaldi
Reply to  Sandy
1 month ago

Good example. Chicago is a hot mess crime wise, but that doesn’t mean the city doesn’t have a better set of policies in other areas. No panhandling on the street level? Please elaborate.

Charles Cas~Michel Gerarrd
Charles Cas~Michel Gerarrd
1 month ago

No, I was willfully homeless during the decades of the 90s living in “van life” well before the new YouTube sensation for the same. I personally help the homeless brought some tents, blankets, food, every weekend down in what is now deep Ellum.

What I found was they would sell the tents, sell the blankets, and they would willingly put themselves right back into the same situation that they were the weekend before.

The homeless are there because they want to be there not because of some misfortune or contrivance per sé.

THEY WANT TO BE THERE IN THAT TYPE OF LIFESTYLE.

They want to do drugs, they want to drink, they want to do whatever they do, whenever they want to do it, without any sense or expected type of responsibility.

And they want you to pay for it…

It’s a tangled web they weave & a trap but don’t be fooled: they are the spider…

Last edited 1 month ago by Charles Cas~Michel Gerarrd
caseyp
caseyp
Reply to  Charles Cas~Michel Gerarrd
1 month ago

Amen. Thank you for the firsthand information.

Betsy Whitfill
Betsy Whitfill
1 month ago

According to an August 28th Dallas News printed article about Our Calling’s Wayne Walker’s plan for a full service facility serving the chronically/terminally ill among the homeless population in Dallas, only 25 % of the homeless need intensive care. 25% need short term help to get back into the economy and self-sustainability. A full 50%, Walker’s data reveals, can resolve their homelessness on their own without any funding or outside support.

It seems that the growing sentiment about the real reasons for homelessness are revealing some truths. It also seems that the costs to taxpayers for “serving” at least 50% of the homeless is a waste.

Andrew Petersen
Andrew Petersen
1 month ago

Wow. What a bunch of Christians in this city.

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Or did y’all forget that part?

Or are y’all only Christian’s at Sunday Service and Terrorist Trump supporters the rest of the week?

Jimmy
Jimmy
Reply to  Andrew Petersen
1 month ago

Judge not least ye be judged. Or did you forget about that part

Phinaldi
Phinaldi
Reply to  Jimmy
1 month ago

Judge early, judge often. It’s called discernment. An obligation.

caseyp
caseyp
Reply to  Andrew Petersen
1 month ago

Terrorist Trump supporters? Biden is the one sho surrendered and pulled out of Afghanistan and allowed the Taliban to regroup. Biden is the one who again is funding terrorists in Iraq and the Biden administration, FBI, DOJ are the ones who planned and initiated the Jan 6 riot. You need to turn off CNN, The View and all other mainstream media. Change your mental diet to real sustenance instead of Kool-Aid.

Anna Williams
Anna Williams
Reply to  caseyp
1 month ago

Sir my niece served 4 tours of duty in Afghanistan. My nephew 1 tour of duty in Iraq was killed in Iraq on May 19, 2005. Trying to save several of his brothers who were pinned down.

His fiance is still in the Military they didn’t get married because they had a 2 year old son and wanted to sure he was well taken care of.

My niece kissed the ground when she got back this past January. She too is still in the Military because she love serving. Some of those guys on the streets are vets.

My nephew wasn’t a Sucker or Loser. Just doing what he was called to do.
Afghanistan was a military industrial complex. Like Ike said they start Wars and your children die for it.

President Biden did the right thing it looked the same way when they pulled out Viet Nam. My husband and his brother both served in that horrific war. Stop calling people names and give them a hand up, not a hand out.

T S
T S
Reply to  Andrew Petersen
1 month ago

That verse is specifically directed to ‘brothers and sisters’. May i remind you that he also said ‘the poor you will have with you always!’. AND it also says in Paul’s letters that ‘if you do not work you should not eat’-meaning of course that those who are ABLE to provide for themselves should do so and not be leaches of society. Paul set the example himself by being a tent maker and working as he traveled-he was not a homeless leach. That’s our example!! Don’t take verses out of context ‘Christian’ who obviously doesn’t know their scriptures! I don’t know of ONE instance in scripture where a ‘sloth or sluggard’ is not condemned!

Jack
Jack
Reply to  Andrew Petersen
1 month ago

Andrew, it is clear you don’t know how to understand the context of the Bible. Nobody “forgot that part”. They simply used their understanding of the Word to be good stewards of the resources God gave them. You should be really careful how you cherry pick the Bible. There are a LOT of people who understand the context and instruction of the Bible who don’t go wasting their resources on people who choose to squander their lives. I don’t know if you remember the story of the Prodigal Son, but Jesus never said one negative thing about the father in that story not pursuing his wayward son, though the father was wealthy. The son ended up blowing his inheritance and wallowing in a pig pen. No where did Jesus find fault with anyone for not running to his rescue. Even when the son volunteered to return and serve in the Father’s house, he was received as a son but his inheritance was not restored. You have a LOT to learn about the Bible.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jack
Phinaldi
Phinaldi
Reply to  Andrew Petersen
1 month ago

I think that means those who can’t help themselves. Not “whatsoever you do to the most degenerate, wilfully irresponsible and dangerous of my brothers, that you do unto me.”

Sheri Stuart
Sheri Stuart
1 month ago

You know, I have been homeless… not by choice, but because those of us who are senior citizens just can’t afford rent…
And shelters, they are dismal places, in the worst areas of town, where you either have to leave each morning before daylight and brave the elements and whatever dangers are around, or they are cult-like places where you have to agree to be indoctrinated… So, yeah, a lot of the homeless opt to take their chances in “hobo camps” instead.

Sure, there are those that are homeless because of their own lifestyle choices, but more than half are low income seniors, single mothers with children, and others with no options because affordable housing and other resources just don’t exist.

caseyp
caseyp
Reply to  Sheri Stuart
1 month ago

Thank you for your story. Those who are against decent housing have never been in that situation. May God bless you.

Kathryn McGuire-Garrett
Kathryn McGuire-Garrett
Reply to  Sheri Stuart
1 month ago

So the lesson here is to teach our young to prepare for a life of working & saving for that rainy day which will surely come no matter who you are. Make wise decisions when you are young so you don’t become dependent on the mercy of others. Be prepared, make sound decisions, become resourceful. Work is honorable. Go without to save for your future. This may not help our current problems but it will help avoid future problems. Pray & save. Take care of yourself & your family.

Phinaldi
Phinaldi
Reply to  Sheri Stuart
1 month ago

Both seniors and mothers with children are groups within this framework that should be prioritized. The lack of affordable housing is very real, and we fail these children and seniors at our peril.

Betsy Whitfill
Betsy Whitfill
1 month ago

Homelessness is a national disgrace. The US government needs to create a dept of homelessness and provide the wherewithal to eliminate the streets as homes for all the reasons that people find themselves there. There is Christian/Federal support for illegal immigrants, there should be Christian/Federal support for the homeless so that good Christians may get involved, There is nothing noble about living on the streets.

Kathryn McGuire-Garrett
Kathryn McGuire-Garrett
Reply to  Betsy Whitfill
1 month ago

The government usually makes things worse, for everyone but themselves.

Jack
Jack
Reply to  Betsy Whitfill
1 month ago

The reason we have an unsustainable national debt and are headed into a never before seen depression is because people have this cockeyed idea that government has solutions. Or, have you never heard: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”

caseyp
caseyp
1 month ago

What kind of question is that? Absolutely for the ones who actually need and want homes. There are way too many families and veterans living on the streets. Under bridges and in tents. I agree there are many who are okay with living that way. Unfortunately many of those who don’t care take space from those who don’t. I agree with Bobby. Load the ones that druggies, drunks, mentally ill and full-time professional panhandlers on busses with those who have crossed the border unlawfully and send them to California, Chicago, New York and DC.

Janet
Janet
Reply to  caseyp
1 month ago

And send the haters, and those unwilling to help find a solution to the problem to Mar-A-Lago!

AhmNee
AhmNee
Reply to  Janet
1 month ago

Careful, your TDS is showing.

Sara
Sara
1 month ago

There should be free drug treatment for anyone who wants to go. VERY limited access in Dallas county for treatment w/out insurance. I tried unsuccessfully to get help for someone who’s homelessness was caused by drug addiction

Sara
Sara
1 month ago

Yours and my quality of life and property values are directly impacted or will be by this. Even if you don’t care about these people homelessness and drug addiction impacts everyone.

Sara
Sara
1 month ago

I’m sorry had to add this but the title question of this article really?! No the homeless need less homes let’s take some away!! Duh!!

Roshundra Lewis
Roshundra Lewis
1 month ago

They might not know housing is available did y’all tell them?

Phinaldi
Phinaldi
Reply to  Roshundra Lewis
1 month ago

Really? Where? Through DHS? I can see why some prefer the street. Follow Mark Melton on FB for an eye full about landlords and vouchers. And greed.

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