Thanks to $10 million from 19 major private donors and $62 million from a federal agency allocated by local governments, thousands of homeless people and families will have a safe roof over their heads—and a fresh start at getting their lives back on track.
The Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance (MDHA) today announced it has raised $10 million in private gifts to help fund the historic Dallas R.E.A.L Time Rapid Rehousing (DRTRR) initiative.
The initiative will provide rent subsidies to 2,000 homeless people for one year, along with 758 emergency housing vouchers for domestic violence victims, families, and those with longterm mental and physical health problems.
The private funders include 19 families, corporations, organizations, and foundations—with $2 million each coming from Bank of America, Margot Perot and the Perot Family, and Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT).
The CFT commitment is a part of a $3.3 million total donation by the Collaborative on Homelessness—a group of Dallas foundations founded by The Meadows Foundation that includes Lyda Hill Philanthropies, The Dallas Foundation, Hoblitzelle Foundation, King Foundation, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, and an anonymous foundation.
The gifts will complement $62M from the federal American Rescue Plan Act
The private fundraising satisfies a requirement to release $62 million in American rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that have been allocated by local governments and the DHA—Housing Solutions for North Texas. The City of Dallas and Dallas County each allocated $25 million; DHA, Dallas County, and the cities of Mesquite and Grand Prairie contributed 758 emergency housing vouchers.
The $10 million in private funds will cover vital aspects of the program, including landlord incentives—often in the form of additional deposits—to spur landlords to accept tenants paying with subsidies, which under Texas law they aren’t required to do.
Also, move-in kits will help the new tenants with things like beds, linens, dishes, and other new-home necessities. And the private dollars will also be used to fund administrative expenses for partner agencies to manage their aspects of the program.
Other private funders to the iniative
In addition to the $2 million funders noted above, DRTRR received donations from Downtown Dallas, Inc.; the Muse Family Foundation; The National and Todd Interests; the Dallas Citizens Council; Toyota; Beck; JP Morgan Chase and Co.; Woods Capital; Headington Companies; and Ryan, LLC.
“The tremendous support shown by our local philanthropic community to support our DRTRR initiative is truly inspiring,” said MDHA CEO Joli Robinson in a statement. “The impact of these gifts is sure to greatly increase our efforts in serving our unhoused neighbors, not only in meeting their housing needs, but also with much-needed wrap-around services.”
Robinson noted that the Collaborative on Homelessness and MDHA team had worked tirelessly to make the experience of homelessness in Dallas and Collin Counties “rare, brief, and nonrecurring.”
Donors cite “heartbreaking” suffering and a need to go “all in”
“It is heartbreaking to see so many of our neighbors suffering through the crisis of homelessness,” Margot Perot said in the statement. “We are honored to play a small role in restoring dignity to their lives and in taking a major step toward ending homelessness in our community.”
Banks have feelings too—and can be moved to address that same heartache.
“When Bank of America heard about this initiative, we knew we needed to go all in,” said Jennifer Chandler, Bank of America Dallas president. “Our Bank of America teammates see every day the homelessness crisis in our community, and we simply could not pass up the opportunity to be part of the solution.”
The CFT’s CEO Dave Scullin lauded the power of so many coming together to try to achieve one great thing.
“DRTRR is the definition of collective impact, with multiple governments, agencies and funding sources coming together to work as a team to tackle the vexing issue of homelessness,” Scullin said in the statement.
“This program will be transformational”
Kourtney Garrett, president and CEO of Downtown Dallas, Inc., explained why her board voted unanimously in July to allocate $500,000 to the initiative.
“We have full confidence that this program will be transformational for individuals experiencing homelessness in our urban core that our own Homeless Outreach Team members work with every day,” Garrett said in the statement. “Rather than criminalizing homelessness, our approach is to help people get back on a path to housing and a sustained recovery. DRTRR presents our best chance yet to make that happen on a large scale.”
“Homelessness is impacting so much of our community. It presents a unique opportunity for philanthropic funders to propel change by taking creative risks on new ideas,” added Peter Miller, president and CEO of The Meadows Foundation.
$10M was “a big mountain to climb”
Peter Brodsky, board chair of MDHA, thought back to when DRTRR was announced at the end of June.
“We knew we had a big mountain to climb to $10 million in time to launch the initiative by this fall,” he said in the statement, thanking the private funders and the local governments and agencies involved.
“Most of all, I want to thank the 100+ agencies of the Collaborative on Homelessness and their hard-working staffs, who will be pulling the laboring oar as we work to house over 2,700 of our neighbors,” Brodsky said.
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