BRANCH OF THE VINCENTIAN FAMILY INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT: Ladies of Charity, Dallas
NAME OF SYSTEMIC CHANGE PROJECT: The Bridge: Supportive Housing Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance
PROJECT ADDRESS: Ladies of Charity Thrift Store
CONTACT PERSON: Sue Ann Gilman
LENGTH OF TIME THE PROJECT/PROGRAM HAS BEEN IN EXISTENCE: 3 years
PROJECT WEBSITE: www.mdhadallas.org
The Bridge, opened in May 2008 in Dallas, is a multi-purpose facility based on a unique Public-Private Partnership dedicated to serving homeless men, women and children, with the primary focus being the chronically homeless. The Bridge is an entry point for homeless persons to access multiple services in one centralized location. Supporting the homeless to make systemic life changes are over 52 Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance (MDHA) organizations.
The Ladies of Charity, prior to the building of The Bridge, was a place where the chronic homeless population received daily “hand-outs” of sandwiches, clothing, blankets in the winter, etc to continue their life on the streets. In August, 2007, a decision was made that LOC would discontinue this way of work and began strategically planning on how to collaborate with The Bridge and the other organizations.
LOC’s homeless are encouraged to seek help at The Bridge for full services rather than “the handout” to stay on the street. LOC became a member of the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance to partner with the organizations collaborating to provide outplacements into transitional, permanent, and permanent supportive housing. Dallas SVDP Council staff encouraged our membership and support for The Bridge.
LOC Dallas attends collaborative meetings with the MDHA organizations that are working on placing individuals or families into permanent supportive housing. We are continually refining and defining LOC’s piece of the project (s). The Ladies of Charity has become active with the Metro Dallas Home Alliance member organizations that are seeking our help with transitioning their clients into apartments. Multiple organizations seek our “Supportive Household Kits” for their clients. Each client or family requires different needs. Household Set-Up Kits include clothing and food as requested by the care/case manager after meeting with clients. The care/case managers come with or bring the clients to our location. Our volunteers work hands-on with clothing selection and food for them. This has been ongoing for only 16 months. Care Managers are now contacting LOC needing funding for Birth Certificates and ID’s for their homeless clients.
This project will be ongoing. There is now forming a Faith Based Group of MHDA Organizations that will spearhead different approaches for the Homeless Population at The Bridge. LOC Dallas has a representative on that Committee.