You have to see it to believe it. When it comes to community and government leaders hoping to make changes to their systems, this sentiment couldn’t be more true. That’s why for the past 20 years, CSH has spearheaded Peer-to-Peer Exchanges, bringing leaders new to supportive housing, to communities where supportive housing is an established response to ending homelessness.
In 2006, CSH began the groundwork for creating a real pipeline of supportive housing in Dallas, TX. In a city where the homeless intake center, The Bridge, was beyond its maximum capacity, we knew supportive housing offered the best solution. CSH sought out to educate the city leaders of Dallas, arming them with the evidence they needed to battle widespread NIMBYism. We brought a group of community and city leaders to Los Angeles to help them explore a system where supportive housing had been successfully operating for quite some time.
And it worked! Our efforts led to CSH’s first office located in Dallas. In 2010, Citywalk @Akard, the first supportive housing project in Dallas opened, providing homes to 50 homeless individuals. We are proud to report that our current Texas pipeline of supportive housing projects totals over 900 units -- evidence that systems can be changed.
We could not have done it without our partners at Central Dallas Ministries, the City of Dallas and Central Dallas CDC, who were all with us on that Peer-to-Peer in L.A. Larry James, CEO of Central Dallas Ministries said it best: "Give homeless people homes -- permanent homes with accessible services administered by cordial, respectful, non-intrusive, concierge-like case managers -- and the change you desire will be realized, but without all of the negatives you fear so much."