New Dallas Facility Helps Get Young People Back on “TRAC”

It was an exciting day for Tamaya Lang. She did a little shopping, thanks to Dallas Cowboys defensive end Kerry Hyder.

Hyder set up the makeshift clothing shop at one of Dallas' newest drop-in centers for teens and young adults.

"They have so many dreams. Just talking to them, they want to do so much. Talking to kids that want to go to med school, they want to play professional sports, they want to be doctors" said Hyder.

The drop-in center is the latest addition to City Square's TRAC program – established for people 14-24 who are homeless or transitioning.

It's the Fannie C. Harris Youth Center, donated to City Square from DISD.

Lang says the program has been critical to her survival.

"I'm the oldest of ten kids. My mom was a single mom trying to do the best that she could and sometimes your best isn't enough. So she asked for help," said Lang.

Help came in the form of foster care. And when she aged out, she found herself couch surfing.

"In the city of Dallas, there are a lot of homeless youth. There are a lot of youth that don't know how to speak up for themselves. There are a lot of youth that come to adults that don't know what they need," she said.

TRAC's Senior Director Madelane Reedy says the goal is be aware of those needs, and then meet them.

The new drop-in center is place to study, lounge, write a resume or get a meal.

"I get to take a shower here, I can do my laundry here, I can get a clean outfit out of our clothing closet," said Reedy. "We're going to step into the gap and we're going to do what we can to help these young people."

Reedy calls it a "safe space" for the 800 young people TRAC serves yearly.

"You could be living with family or friends. You could be sleeping on someone's couch. You could be living in a homeless shelter. You could be paying week by week in a hotel."

Thanks in part to the program, Lang is now back in college, has a place to live and knows her future is bright.

"They helped me know that I have a voice and it deserves to be heard."

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