Dallas shelter providers to begin coordinating homeless services

Dallas announces plan to deal with homeless

DALLAS -- The City of Dallas is one step closer to having a shelter community that shares information in a central location to better track homeless populations and provide services.

Cindy Crain, executive director of Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance (MDHA), told WFAA on Monday a management system that will serve as a database for each shelter will be ready to launch on May 1.

It's part of an on-going effort for service providers to create a more efficient system that better utilizes existing taxpayers resources and ensures all available bed spaces in shelter are being occupied.

“All those data points into someone taking services – helps us document their homelessness and improve their eligibility for a variety of housing programs,” Crain said.

Results of a homeless census in January released earlier this month showed more than 1087 living unsheltered in Dallas and Collin Counties, a sharp increase from 739 in 2016.

The overall homeless numbers for both counties stands at 3,789.

Crain says anyone who receives services at a Dallas shelter will receive a scan card. The card will contain information on services the individual receives. It is part of the Homeless Response System put in place by MDHA.

"We’re going to know a lot more about where people are at,” Crain said.

The move comes one month after Mayor Mike Rawlings announced the creation of an 11-member panel comprised of city, county and homeless advocates to oversee the spending of resources on homelessness.

The Dallas city council is expected to vote on that plan April 12.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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