Texas Connects Us to the Homeless

On a cold North Texas night, 1,300 volunteers fanned out over Dallas and Collin Counties for the annual Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance Point in Time Homeless Count. 

"To get information on why they're out here, how long they've been out here," volunteer Laura Weis explained.

She was entering information about encampments into an iPhone app.

"Submitted our first entry!"

The first entry was a camp with no one around. They found the people who live there in their car in a nearby parking lot. 

"I don't want to say it's dangerous," said Doyle. "It depends on how you carry yourself."

Doyle said he'd been living out of his car for six months.

"Man I just want an apartment," he said. "I miss watching TV laying in bed, you know what I'm saying?"

Last year's Homeless Count showed a 20 percent increase in people living on the streets. "Here in Dallas," Weis remarked. "One of the richest communities.

For volunteers, the count was eye-opening. 

"I've never been out in the middle of the night at a fire pit at a homeless encampment," Weis said. "It's just heartbreaking."

"I think we gotta talk about it," said volunteer Julie Ramirez. "It's not something that's in another world. It's down our streets. It's on your corner."

For many of the homeless, the count is a touch of human kindness, too.

Volunteers handed out clean socks and food to those who needed it. 

"Most of these people don't want handouts," said volunteer Damian Sanders. "They want a hand up."

The count helps the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance know how many homeless there are, and what some of the issues are that keep people from finding housing.

The MDHA will release findings from the count in March. 

Tarrant County releases its Point in Time Homeless Count data March 23.

Contact Us