[Hpn] Helping homeless;Dallas Morning News;Editorial;7/12/01;Texas;USA

Morgan W. Brown morganbrown@hotmail.com
Sat, 14 Jul 2001 13:42:40 -0400


Note: Recipient list undisclosed

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-------Forwarded editorial-------

Thursday, July 12, 2001
Dallas Morning News <http://www.dallasnews.com>
[Dallas, Texas, USA]
Opinion
Dallas Morning News Editorial
Helping homeless
<http://www.dallasnews.com/editorial/416187_helpinghomeles.html>

Improving city methods is long overdue

07/12/2001

Dallas officials have made a telling statement about their handling of
homeless programs. They have decided they are doing such a poor job
of applying for federal grants that they may ask a nonprofit group to take 
over the assignment.

For years, agencies that help the hungry and homeless in Dallas have
been frustrated by the lack of solid support from City Hall. Now, even
top municipal administrators seem willing to say that it is time for outside 
help.

It is discouraging that a city the size of Dallas has problems making
proper requests for federal grants to assist the area's burgeoning street 
population. During the last two years, the city was able to obtain only $1.8 
million of the $5 million in grant requests on behalf of various agencies 
serving the homeless.

But more distressing was the statement from the Housing and Urban
Development Department that the city lost some of its funding because
grant requests were incomplete. In the strong competition among cities
for federal support for homeless programs, the last thing Dallas needs to do 
is fill out forms improperly or submit incomplete information.

City officials say the housing department changed the rules on grant
requests, but that is hardly a valid excuse for a major urban area with a 
significant homeless population.

Given Dallas' unimpressive track record, the better option would be to
find a community service organization to secure funding for the homeless. 
But if City Hall opts for that approach, it still should not relinquish its 
continuing role in addressing this problem.

Last year, a consortium of homeless advocacy groups and merchants put
together a long-range plan for dealing with the street people downtown. 
Among other things, the consortium proposed that the homeless be given a 
higher priority at City Hall with the appointment of a full-time city 
coordinator. A tracking system should be implemented to make certain the 
homeless are getting to service providers.

Karen Boudreaux, the city's homeless coordinator, has worked hard to
improve the city's efforts, but many social service agencies still believe 
the city government is not dedicated to the task. If Dallas turns the grant 
application process over to a private agency, City Hall should refocus on 
doing a better job of administering to the homeless. This is a problem that 
will become worse if the city fails to get fully involved.

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**In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this
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-------End of forward-------

Morgan <morganbrown@hotmail.com>
Morgan W. Brown
Montpelier Vermont USA



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