Justice Revival Partners with Major Foundation for Homeless

Nearly 2,000 Chronic Homeless Housed by End of 2011!

For most Dallas residents, counting sheep is one method to induce a good Night sleep. But for the portion of the population coming out of chronic homelessness, no sleep aid replaces their fundamental need for a bed. Los Angeles based non-profit, A Good Night Sleep (AGNS) is partnering with Sleep Experts, the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance (MDHA) and Greater Dallas Justice Revival to host a bed drop on Thursday, November 3 and Monday, November 7, 2011.  The event will utilize local volunteers from the SMU community and Dallas-area residents to outfit apartments at the Bay at Mandalay in Dallas with 120 beds and basic housing items for residents coming from The Bridge shelter into permanent supportive housing.

“Permanent supportive housing is the vehicle that we’re going to use to end homelessness,” said Charles Gulley, Vice President of Programs for MDHA.

By the end of 2011 MDHA's HUD funded Continuum of Care Agencies and the Dallas Housing Authority/MDHA Partnership will have created over 2,000 units of supportive housing for single adults with disabilities and families with a disabled parent. Partnering with MDHA in the bed drop is Homes for Our Neighbors an initiative of Greater Dallas Justice Revival, as well as SMU alumni and volunteers connected to AGNS.

Josh Helland is the Co-Founder and acting Executive Director of AGNS as well as an L.A. based businessman and SMU alum. He and AGNS Co-Founder, Jennifer Kenning, also an alumna of SMU, are hosting the bed drop in Dallas specifically because of their ties to their alma mater and the community surrounding it. Also contributing to the event are Ladies of Charity, who are providing household items for each unit and Family Gateway, the service provider for formerly homeless tenants.

The bed drop is being held in conjunction with SMU homecoming weekend festivities and is hoped to become an annual event. The partnering organizations aim to make bed drops a regular part of the ongoing effort to reduce homelessness in Dallas.

According to Randy Skinner, Director of the Greater Dallas Justice Revival, chronic homelessness in the Dallas area has been reduced 57 percent over the last six years. But homelessness continues to rise as more and more individuals and families are becoming homeless due to the economy, the deficit in affordable housing for lowest income families and cut backs in safety net programs.

“Because of our proactive and aggressive stance, we will have placed people into 2,000 housing units. There’s nowhere else in the country I think where that’s matched. We now have people in housing that were formerly chronic homeless. That’s unbelievable,” said Skinner. Michael Faenza, President and CEO of MDHA said that their target is to develop 1800 units of supportive housing through 2015 for single adults and families with parents with disabilities.

“We have a lot of work to do,” said Faenza.

“We’re very excited about the bed drop. This is the kind of contribution from the private sector that will help us end homelessness. To actually take care of the initial furniture and household needs of people formerly homeless moving into housing, including a bed to get a great Night sleep, is really important and we hope that kind of contribution can expand in the future,” said Faenza.

To read more about the Homes for Our Neighbors campaign please click here:

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