Thursday, June 28, 2007

Charity is not the Solution

The Dallas Observer recently quoted me in their article on the Dallas Street Church, "The Gut-bucket Gospel."

Jeremy Gregg, director of development at Central Dallas Ministries, believes the most important thing a city can do to deal with homelessness is to provide affordable housing, particularly single-room-occupancy units, or SROs. He says the Street Church and other small nonprofits like it are best at addressing the immediate needs of the homeless, such as food, clothing and shelter. But Gregg says ending homelessness in Dallas will require more than any one organization can accomplish on its own.
Within the issue of homelessness in Dallas, there is such an emphasis on charity and transitional efforts -- but what we truly need is a systemic/public approach to develop permanent pathways off the streets. Churches and NPOs cannot do this alone. They can make the path easier for folks to follow, and perhaps direct more people towards it, but they cannot make the path without massive public support.

DISCUSSION: What do you think is the role of charity within this issue?