homelessness | KERA News

homelessness

Christina Broussard was trapped in her grandmother's living room for three days during Hurricane Harvey. Rain poured through the ceiling in the bathrooms and bedrooms.

Broussard's a student at Houston Community College. Her grandmother is 74 and uses a wheelchair.

"We had peanut butter, tuna, crackers, we had plenty of water," she remembers. "We were hungry, but we managed. We tried to make light jokes about it — we said we were on a fast." And to pass the time? "We prayed."

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Sarah Matteson, who works at Texas Woman's University in Denton, helps “nontraditional” students get through college. Students range from homeless kids and those who were in foster care or the military to parents raising young children.

When Matteson entered school, she was nontraditional herself.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

The Dallas Street Choir just returned from a whirlwind tour through New York City and Washington D.C., performing four times and seeing all the sites. For many members, a trip like this was a first — because they all happen to be homeless.

On the south side of Dallas, Nena Eldridge lives in a sparse but spotless bungalow on a dusty lot. At $550 each month, her rent is just about the cheapest she could find in the city.

After an injury left her unable to work, the only income she receives is a $780 monthly disability check. So she has to make tough financial choices, like living without running water.

Paul Moseley / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

A new report shows the number of people who are homeless in Tarrant and Parker Counties has not changed much over the past year. The Tarrant County Homeless Coalition released its annual homeless count on Thursday. It found 1,924 people living on the streets or in shelters, 14 fewer than last year.

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Texas ranks third in the country for the highest number of homeless students in public schools, and research suggests these kids fall behind academically because they’re prone to more health problems.

The empty lot at the corner of Red River and Seventh streets turned into a village of services for people experiencing homelessness Saturday. Around 350 people living on the streets were able to get everything from a shower to yoga lessons at the Pop-Up Care Village. 

Stephanie Kuo / KERA News

A new report shows the total number of people who are homeless in Dallas and Collin counties hasn’t changed much since last year – but that certain types of homelessness are on the rise. 

Courtney Collins / KERA news

While people regularly give coats and outgrown shoes to those in need, homeless shelters—and the women who live there—are often without essentials like bras and feminine hygiene products.

A grassroots effort called Support The Girls is trying to change that.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

City and county leaders in Dallas Tuesday announced a partnership of organizations focused on tackling homelessness. Their appointees will work with nonprofits and private groups to strengthen the efforts.

Courtesy of Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance

In January, the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance led its annual homeless count. The final numbers aren't in, but advocates say they expect the numbers should be similar to last year’s – including the fact that in Dallas, the homeless population is disproportionately black.

Javier Giribet-Vargas / KERA News

On Sundays, along a busy highway near Fair Park, about 20 homeless people gather under a large tent for a church service. They pray with and listen to Raul Mendez.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

A big city library has turned around the way it handles some of its most marginalized visitors. The Dallas Public Library has committed to not just tolerating—but welcoming—every homeless person who walks through the door.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

The Dallas Commission on Homelessness recently published a 51-page report recommending strategies to tackle the city's significant homeless issue. 

Stephanie Kuo / KERA News

In Dallas, homelessness has been in the headlines in recent months. The homeless population is going up and the city has been struggling with solutions. KERA’s Stephanie Kuo has been following this issue for many months, and she talked with Eric Aasen.

As Dallas Struggles With Poverty, Landlord Plans Abrupt Closures

Oct 6, 2016
Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

Dallas City Hall is scrambling to keep hundreds of families from becoming homeless as a real estate management company threatens an abrupt, mass eviction in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.

It’s going to be easier for some populations to vote this year because of recent court-ordered changes to the voter ID law.  One group is the state’s homeless population, which typically faces many hurdles casting a ballot.

STEPHANIE KUO / KERA News

Some of Dallas’ neediest homeless people will soon have a place of their own: a tiny house.

The Cottages at Hickory Crossing opened recently just south of Deep Ellum -- and residents are moving in over the next few weeks. Many say these small cottages are a step in the right direction in the city’s ongoing struggle with homelessness.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

We met Denzel Bailey, a UT-Arlington student, a year ago. He's a homeless student in college. He spent the summer with his grandparents in south Fort Worth. Bailey is entering his senior year – and trying to balance work and school, while hoping to find a place he can call home.

From Texas Standard:

When Sam Espinosa was a kid, it took a while for Austin Independent School District to learn he was homeless.

"My mom is a fairly private person – she was never one to let anyone else into,  you know, what we were going through," Espinosa says.

So, Sam and his five siblings became fairly good at pretending they had a place to live.

 


STEPHANIE KUO/KERA

A commission presented a report to the Dallas City Council yesterday with possible solutions on ending homelessness in the city. Some council members were disappointed and divided about what to do. 

Cottages at Hickory Crossing

Fifty tiny houses -- dubbed the Cottages at Hickory Crossing -- will soon be home to 50 of the most expensive homeless people in Dallas.

STEPHANIE KUO

The homeless have plenty to worry about, and their health often takes a backseat to more pressing concerns like housing and food. Doctors say that ultimately takes a toll.

Cooper Neill/The Texas Tribune

For the more than 200 homeless people that until recently lived under a highway overpass in Dallas’ "Tent City," the nylon roofs over their heads were a relatively safe haven from the streets, the closest they could come to a permanent home.

STEPHANIE KUO

The city of Dallas has shut down Tent City, the homeless camp under Interstate 45 near downtown and Deep Ellum. Over the past few weeks, officials have helped hundreds of people move out. Caseworkers are helping homeless people prepare for life away from the highway underpass, but many of them face an uncertain future.

STEPHANIE KUO

Dallas officials have shut down Tent City, the homeless encampment under I-45 near downtown. The nearly 300 tents are gone, the trash and debris have been cleared, and the city has fenced off the area. It's a bit quieter now than it was months ago.

In North Texas, we’re all about convenience. The drive-through Starbucks, burger joint, even drive-through bank. Still, there aren’t any drive-through health clinics. But there are clinics on wheels — they’re run by Parkland Health & Hospital System. The clinics have been crisscrossing Dallas for more than a decade, serving the people in the community who need it most.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

If you grow up in a stable home, with supportive parents, it can be hard to see all the paths that lead to homelessness. But they’re there — like trap doors in a dark house.

STEPHANIE KUO

The deadline to close Tent City in Dallas is May 4. As hundreds of homeless men and women leave life from under the interstate, the difficult task will be to keep them off the streets. Advocates and researchers say the city's response to finding them permanent housing is largely inadequate.

Stephanie Kuo/KERA News

With homelessness surging in North Texas, and Dallas debating a plan to shut down a makeshift Tent City, CEO Larry James of the nonprofit CitySquare says he remains "quietly optimistic." 

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