Since June of 2016, homeless camps have more than doubled in Dallas. Residents, who are part of the Homeless Commission, are urging city council to appoint a "Citizens Homeless Commission" to increase transparency and accountability.
Members of the Homeless Commission said they were blind-sided when the City of Dallas announced a "regional partnership" with Dallas County in an effort to combat the problem.
"Homelessness is everywhere, but the city of Dallas has a huge growing problem," said one resident in a recent commission briefing. "A regional partnership will not focus on the specific needs concerning the homeless population in the city. How will a regional partnership address Dallas encampments?"
"We started out with 40 camps during the summer, then in the fall we jumped to 80, now there are close to 200 camps. The problem is growing and there has to be more accountability," the resident said.
Residents also asked for a standard metrics system in regards to the homeless count, transparency of the funds allocated to non-profit organizations, and vouchers.
The latest report reveals the homeless population within Dallas County has expanded. The unsheltered, veteran, and youth homeless population has increased.
Housing, beds available at shelters and outreach efforts remain an issue.