The city of Dallas has started closing down Tent City and relocating its residents.
Thursday, staff from Dallas LIFE began meeting with those living in the homeless encampment under Interstate 45. They went tent to tent, trying to collect names and information from everyone they encountered.
“We're doing all we can to get these people in,” said Anna Gane, a development assistant for the organization.
The plan to close the encampment will be done in phases, incrementally moving people out of the blocks between Canyon and Corinth streets. The city has set a deadline of May 4, which is why Gane and her colleagues are hoping to convince as many people to leave as possible.
“They get a shower when they first come, new clothes and a meal,” Gane said. "If we can help four people, that's, you know, that's a great thing.”
One of the few who agreed to leave is P.B. Bradford, homeless since September.
“They're trying to help people, and I needed help,” Bradford explained. “I'm at a table now, in a chair. I didn't have that at Tent City.”
Bradford has relocated to the shelter at Dallas LIFE. Their recovery program has requirements he will have to meet, such as working shifts in the kitchen and participating in life skills classes. After a couple months under I-45, it’s a welcomed change of pace.
“Get housing, stop drinking,” he said. “I have an 8-year-old son that's in another state. I want to be able to have a place for him to come visit.”
Gane and her staff plan to return to Tent City every day before the deadline. Their hope is to have everyone out before the city uses police enforcement to vacate the property.
“We hope there's more,” Gane said. “That’s why we’re going to come back.”