Where Will Homeless of Dallas' Tent City Go?

On Tuesday, the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance will deliver the State of the Homeless Address.

The address will touch on the homeless population count and solutions to get people into housing, even as Dallas prepares to shut down its largest homeless encampment, a collection of more than 200 tents under Highway 75 on the edge of downtown known as "Tent City." 

"Well, if I don't have a house by then, looks like I'm going to be moving around," said Barry Kucera.

Kucera said he's been homeless on and off for the last 20 years. Right now he lives in Tent City.

"There's some good people down here who are really trying to come up. I don't know what their condition or situation is, but they can get better if they keep a positive attitude," said Kucera.

But when asked what it's like living there, he got emotional.

"At times it's great, and other times it's Hell," he said. 

"The question is, where are they going to go?" asked Larry James, CEO of CitySquare, a not-for-profit organization that advocates for the homeless. "Who's going to respond with housing?"

CitySquare is building 50 units on the edge of downtown to house the city's most chronic, most expensive homeless.

"We know by name the top 300 most-expensive homeless persons," James said, explaining that chronic homelessness costs Dallas an average of $40,000 per year per person.

James said housing them in the project set to open in April will cost less than $15,000 per year per person.

"So doing the right thing is also the best thing," James said. "That's one of the arguments that needs to be made, and in a city like Dallas, that's so 'churched up,' needs to be reminded of that moral argument."

The State of the Homeless Address is set for Tuesday morning. The Tent City closure is slated for on or before May 4.

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