There is a new tool in the effort to reduce homelessness in Dallas. CitySquare, a non-profit group dedicated to fighting poverty, is now using a converted RV to deliver services directly to people in the city's homeless camps.
"It's going to be invaluable for us," said John Siburt, president of CitySquare.
CitySquare spent about $30,000 on the vehicle. Part office, part clinic, the RV provides a place where social workers can provide assistance to people trying to transition out of homelessness. "The ability to go mobile, reach people where they are, really makes for a more efficient, more timely process and allows us to get people on the road to housing much quicker," said Siburt.
One challenge is connecting the city's homeless to mental health care providers. CitySquare partners with Metrocare Services to connect with people who need both housing and mental health treatment.
"We mostly deal with depression, anxiety, bipolar," said Jasmaine Dowe, with Metrocare.
Dowe estimates that up to 75 percent of the homeless people she encounters are in need of mental health care services.
CitySquare and Metrocare know that helping Dallas' homeless is a complex, long-term problem. The hope is, by using new strategies such as the RV to deliver service where they're needed most, there may someday be no one left in the city's homeless camps.
CitySquare has several ways you can help. For more information, visit the CitySquare website.