I had the great pleasure of attending this press conference in place of my dear boss and friend, Larry James. I knew about the County's commitment of $1 million in funding per year to support the operations of the new Homeless Assistance Center (HAC), but the additional commitments were refreshing news to me:
- $1.5 million from The Meadows Foundation,
- $1 million from the Rees-Jones Foundation,
- $500,000 from the Mike and Mary Terry Foundation and
- $500,000 from Pam and Gary Patsley.
Since Belo's pop-ups and pop-unders are gettting worse every day, let me post the full text:
03:12 PM CST on Monday, November 12, 2007
By KIM HORNER / The Dallas Morning News
Dallas’ fund-raising campaign to help the homeless got off to a $3.5 million start on Monday.
Officials announced four major donations, considered the largest given locally to address homelessness, as part of Help the Homeless Week.
The contributions launched a $20 million campaign by the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance to raise private funds to help cover operating costs at the assistance center set to open downtown in April.
“I’m excited, because what you’re seeing is a city coming together,” Mayor Tom Leppert said at a news conference. “I am proud of what’s happening in this city.”
The donations include $1.5 million from The Meadows Foundation, $1 million from the Rees-Jones Foundation, $500,000 from the Mike and Mary Terry Foundation and $500,000 from Pam and Gary Patsley.
The money will help the city reach its goal of ending chronic homelessness by 2014, the city’s appointed homeless czar, Mike Rawlings, said.
According to a 2007 count, Dallas has more than 5,000 homeless people, with nearly 600 considered chronic homeless, the most visible population that has been on the streets long-term and suffers from mental illness or addictions.
Officials estimate the new center will cost $6.4 million a year to operate. The city has committed to paying half of that, and the county will chip in another $1 million.
“It’s the right thing to do, and it’s a great investment,” Dallas County commissioner Kenneth Mayfield said. He added that other cities in the county should step up to help the homeless.
“They gravitate here, and it’s in everybody’s best interest that it [the center] succeed,” he said.