Austin Street Center was excited to participate in Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance’s “90 in 90 Emergency Shelter Challenge,” alongside The Bridge and The Salvation Army. What began as an effort to find homes for 90 men and women experiencing homelessness turned into so much more.
In total, 217 men and women are no longer homeless! Of these 107 were helped by the team at Austin Street.
Through innovative approaches, Austin Street’s team of case managers led the charge by working individually with each person to determine what barriers were keeping them from finding a place to call home.
Here are just a few of the ways our team found innovative solutions:
A history of incarceration? By developing relationships with apartment managers, Austin Street was able to find homes for people who would otherwise have been rejected immediately.
Not enough income to afford rent? Through a series of Roommate Matching events, individuals were paired up to pool resources and find apartments they could afford together.
Missing critical documents? Along with our community partners, Austin Street’s case management staff works hard to help our guests get birth certificates, state IDs, and other important documentation.
Dustin Perkins, Austin Street’s Director of Programs said, “Our case management team worked their fingers to the bone and wholeheartedly embraced multiple innovative upgrades to our current services, doing things no other emergency shelter in Dallas has ever done before. We are thrilled with the result – 107 people who are no longer homeless, permanently! We learned some incredible lessons about what works to end our clients’ homelessness and what it takes to continuously improve. I’m thankful for this amazing case management team who applied their big hearts and big brains through big effort to achieve big results! I’m humbled to work with these incredible people.”
The entire Austin Street staff feels passionate about helping our clients get home. Everyone participated in the challenge; from developing messages displayed throughout the shelter to making sure to ask guests what their housing plan was at every opportunity, each team member from security to operations and fundraising worked to make this possible.
As our team integrates the lessons learned from this challenge, we remain committed to ensuring that every person we serve is working toward ending their homeless experience as quickly as possible
To learn more: see MDHA’s blog post here and the Dallas Morning News’ editorial here.