Nobody at City Hall can seem to hear enough about permanent supportive housing these days, and since the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance's Mike Faenza just can't talk it up enough, we're back at City Hall for another update on how the city's PSH programs are doing at filling up neighborhoods and emptying out The Bridge.
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John Castle, who's settling into his role as Homeless Czar Lite, is kicking things off with a leisurely stroll through a slide show of stats. In the last 26 months, PSH programs have made 841 housing placements, Castle says, even after a rough run trying to fit people into Cliff Manor last year -- no, earlier this year, he corrects himself. "It felt like last year," Dave Neumann offers in a cheerful flash of self-pity.
Thanks in part to Randy Skinner and his new, faith-based "Homes For Our Neighbors" program, Castle says there's a more neighborly vibe surrounding Cliff Manor today. Thanks to iWatch, I say it's just a matter of time till they're all reporting each other to the cops from their computers and iPhones.
Faenza -- who Neumann called his "media star" a few minutes before the meeting started -- runs through the three areas MDHA's focused on adding PSH units this year: 40 women's-only units at Pebbles Apartments, 50 apartments at Cliff Manor, and 500 vouchers for other apartments scattered around the city. Well, maybe not "scattered."
Running down the table, Dallas Housing Authority president MaryAnn Russ talks about that distribution -- Neumann's district, which "embraces West Dallas," does have a whole lot of the city's subsidized housing and PSH units. "It's less than it used to be, but it's still a high concentration. DHA is still fixing to send out that request for landlords' proposals to accept 350 housing vouchers -- of course, she says, they'll be letting council members know first.