Dallas' Homeless Problem Grew While City Officials Took Eye Off the Ball, Audit Claims

Dallas City Hall has done a poor job keeping an eye on the people and agencies it has tasked with helping the homeless, an internal audit concluded Monday. And the city has little, if any idea, who is being helped and how.Because of a lack of city oversight of Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, which has been spearheading Dallas' homeless-relief efforts for more than a decade, millions have likely been left on the table that could have gone toward sheltering the unsheltered, says the audit - the most scathing account of Dallas' struggle to address a growing homeless population.Top city officials said the audit only confirmed what they already knew. After all, homeless encampments are ubiquitous, disparate relief efforts pop up here and there, and looking for better data to help clean up the mess is often fruitless. Officials said they are already implementing changes and now have the proof they need to push forward.Nadia Chandler-Hardy, the city's chief of community services, said the city needed "an overhaul across the board." The audit, she said, "just kind of solidifies things to me. Now I feel like I really got the baton and I can run."City auditor Craig Kinton's lengthy report, sent to the City Council Friday night, said MDHA's recently implemented centralized database, called a Homeless Management Information System, is incomplete and failed to take it account the varying needs of the homeless service providers, chief among them The Bridge downtown, which serves some 7,000 people annually.   Continue reading...

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