A new Dallas housing complex will give homes to 50 of the county’s most expensive homeless residents. But will it work?
The Cottages complex is scheduled to open in late April on South Malcolm X Boulevard in downtown Dallas.
The project will provide immediate homes to those who meet a certain criteria, which includes a history of homelessness, mental illness and issues with the law.
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The idea is to remove those people from their current living situation and provide with a secure home and on-site health services.
“We're going to put you in housing and then work on your issues, as you direct,” said Larry James, CEO of City Square.
The non-profit has been trying to develop more housing options within the county for years.
However, there is some concern from service providers about how The Cottages will function in the long-term.
“I think it's important to recognize that it's a little piece of a much bigger puzzle that we need to put together,” said Jay Dunn, CEO of The Bridge shelter.
Given the backgrounds of many of the shelter’s clients, Dunn believes an early rehabilitation service is key to making any housing option work in the future.
While ‘housing first’ is helpful to relieve an immediate need, he doesn’t believe it addresses the broader issue of affordable housing.
“The reality is it's not a practical option early on in the process,” explained Dunn. “We're advocates for diversified housing, not segregated housing.”
But with the anticipated closure of Tent City, it will provide a quick solution for many looking for a place to stay.
“What would it do for me? It would get me on my feet,” said Chanel, who has lived on and off the streets of North Texas for several years.
With 50 spots available at The Cottages, she’s currently in consideration for one of them.
“I've been looking for a second chance for awhile,” Chanel said. “I haven't been able to get that.”