When, 12 days ago, I first mentioned that the First Presbyterian Church downtown was allowing up to 150 homeless folks to sleep in the church's parking lot every night, some of our Friends weren't terribly fond of the idea. But one person thinks it's a brilliant idea. He also thinks Joe Clifford, the senior pastor at First Presbyterian Church on Park Avenue, is a godsend. And that person is Larry James, president and CEO for Central Dallas Ministries. No surprise there, sure.
But today on his blog, James writes that Clifford "wants us to consider alternatives like adequate funding for mental health services, substance abuse treatment, counseling and permanent supportive housing development. You know, approaches that actually work!" Far as James is concerned, "Joe's a unique guy in these parts." For those so interested, you can hear Clifford's October 14 sermon, during which he addresses "Living Out in the Open."
Speaking of CDM, James sends word this morning that there's a big ol' pumpkin festival taking place Saturday in the West Village, from noon till 8 p.m. The event's actually free, with bands, food and all kinds of kid-friendly shenanigans, but any money made will go toward the Central Dallas Ministries. --Robert Wilonsky
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.