Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson visited Haven for Hope in San Antonio last week to learn more about its “one-stop-shop” approach to homelessness.
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Haven for Hope has been credited with a 77% reduction in homelessness in the city. The organization provides shelter and an array of different homeless services, all on the same campus.
“[Mayor] Eric Johnson visited [Haven for Hope] to learn more about San Antonio’s approach to solving homelessness,” said San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg on social media. “I’m proud to serve a community that has become a model of homeless response systems with compassionate leaders and steady partnerships.”
I'm proud to serve a community that has become a model of homeless response systems with compassionate leaders and steady partnerships. pic.twitter.com/4PEu5g3S5r
— Mayor Ron Nirenberg (@Ron_Nirenberg) August 18, 2023
“Haven for Hope was thrilled to host Mayor Johnson and his team for a tour and robust discussion about the state of homelessness in our respective communities,” said Haven for Hope President and CEO Kim Jefferies in a statement to The Dallas Express.
Jefferies said it was “evident” that Major Johnson is “working to gain knowledge on all types of interventions for this challenging issue, to see what is working in San Antonio’s homeless response system, and to determine an appropriate path forward for Dallas.”
“He’s intent on finding real solutions for Dallas and demonstrated a willingness to change the status quo if necessary,” she added, describing Mayor Johnson’s approach as “thoughtful and compassionate.”
Mayor Johnson’s chief of policy and communications Maddy Madrazo told The Dallas Express that Mayor Johnson “plans to share more about his experience at a later date.”
Haven for Hope features a “transformational campus” where case managers work one-on-one with clients to determine their best path forward.
Unlike other homeless service providers, Haven for Hope said it aims to provide more than emergency housing. It also offers counseling, job training, educational programming, and a host of other services.
Haven for Hope’s approach has been championed by homelessness policy experts like Michele Steeb, who used to run a similar program in California.
“If your issue is alcohol addiction, then those services are required for you,” Steeb previously told The Dallas Express. “If you’re issue [is] with mental illness, then it’s required. If you need employment training, they have a program for you there.”
The “one-stop-shop” model has polled favorably among Dallas voters. Whether City leaders will pursue the strategy remains to be seen, even as 75% of Dallas voters say homelessness and vagrancy continue to be “major” problems throughout their city.