Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Unwelcome mat out for project to house chronically homeless

Sunday’s Dallas Morning News had an insightful article by Kim Horner on the difficulties in building housing for the homeless. Here’s a bit from the opening:

“Developer Larry Hamilton has been working for months to turn the empty Plaza Hotel south of downtown Dallas into homes for the homeless. But it's been much tougher than he imagined.

“Hamilton and other developers complain of roadblocks even as they try to carry out the city's goal of opening 700 apartments for the homeless by 2014. The housing, which would come with mental health and addiction services, is considered the most effective way to clear the streets of the hard-core homeless.

“But Dallas has lagged behind other major cities in creating the units. Public financing, neighborhood cooperation and political will are all in short supply in a city that has been able to raise millions for arts projects, a convention center hotel and Calatrava bridges over the Trinity River.

‘They have this aspiration to do 700 units, but I think it's going to be hard to do any,’ Hamilton said. ‘I don't see how it's going to get done.’”

You can read the rest of the article, and should if you are interested in the problem of homelessness in Dallas, here: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/121309dnmethomeless.4003d95.html.
I’ve been going through the comments, and they are a pretty interesting indication of what people in Dallas are thinking about the homeless. The next couple of days I’ll probably spend some time discussing them, but I’ll warn you that I find them discouraging.

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