As Dallas Battles Homeless Crisis, City Council Still Deciding What Approach It Wants to Take

Tent cities are scattered throughout Dallas, emergency shelters remain nearly full and hundreds of homeless people are waiting for housing, but the Dallas City Council is still debating what kind of group it wants to tackle the crisis. On Tuesday, Mayor Mike Rawlings and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced a cross-jurisdictional partnership to act as a watchdog for how area nonprofits and social services are handling homelessness.But on Wednesday, council members waffled on whether they want the county to be involved or would prefer to have a citizens commission to report solely to the city. And much of what such a commission would do is something city staff should already be doing, said new City Manager T.C. Broadnax, attending his first council briefing on homelessness. City staff should be tracking whether taxpayer money spent on housing programs or shelter funding is effective. They should be comparing Dallas' efforts to what other cities are doing. Then the staff should be presenting that information to a board or commission, he said. "We need to own those types of things, because homelessness is not new," Broadnax said. "We should be on the forefront of coming up with those types of solutions."  Continue reading...

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