William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Sat, 15 Oct 2005 07:53:11 -0400


Chamber backs homeless center bond election

Dallas: Group doesn't take a stand on location of proposed facility

Saturday, October 15, 2005

By KIM HORNER / The Dallas Morning News

The Greater Dallas Chamber on Friday threw its support behind the city's 
$23.8 million bond election to build a homeless assistance center.
The chamber announced that it will back Proposition 14 on the Nov. 8 ballot 
to build a homeless assistance center and single-room occupancy housing.
"We think there's a need for a homeless center, and we think it ought to be 
paid for in a bond package," said W. Mike Baggett, chairman and chief 
executive of the law firm Winstead Sechrest & Minick PC and head of the 
chamber's executive committee, which voted on the issue Friday.
Although the chamber will support the bond measure, it did not take a 
position on the facility's location.
Another group of business owners, The Heart of Dallas Partnership, is 
campaigning against the bond measure, saying the downtown location would 
jeopardize plans to revitalize that area.
Clayton P. Henry, consultant for the partnership, said his group is in favor 
of helping homeless people. "Our objection has always been with the downtown 
location," he said.
A specific site is not included in the bond measure. But the Dallas City 
Council has voted to build the project in the southeastern part of downtown, 
bordered by St. Paul Street, Corsicana Street, Park Avenue and Interstate 
Mr. Baggett said members of the chamber committee, which met with leaders on 
both sides of the debate, did not feel they had enough information to take a 
stand on the location. He said he hopes the opposing sides can agree on a 
"My hope would be that they could get this worked out and we can all support 
the bond package and build a homeless center," he said.
The city wants to build a 24-hour assistance center, to be run by a 
nonprofit agency, that would include shelter, referrals, counseling, drug 
treatment and job training to replace the city's inadequate Day Resource 
Center. Early voting begins Oct. 24.
E-mail khorner@dallasnews.com