Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Bridge opens in Dallas

Dallas' new homeless assistance center, The Bridge (what an unfortunate name, BID), opened yesterday.

How about this for some anecdotal evidence of initial success: I normally pass 3 Street 'Zine vendors (homeless folks selling newspapers) on my walk from the train each morning. I can see each of their faces but I don't know their names. This morning none of them were out there. I am assuming they each got a good night's sleep courtesy of the City of Dallas.

Apparently one difference between The Bridge and our privately run shelters is that The Bridge is not kicking people out the door in the morning. And they will be set up to treat some of the underlying causes of homelessness. I wish them all the success in the world.

I'm scheduled to volunteer at Austin Street Shelter this evening. I will be curious to see if they have less of a crowd than normal due to the opening of The Bridge.

Update: There were about 350 people staying at Austin Street Wednesday night, fairly close to capacity for a mild dry evening. It seems Austin Street has a very good reputation among the homeless population and Dallas can use the additional shelter.

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