USICH Director Travels to ALL INside Community Dallas

April 24, 2024
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This week, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) Director Jeff Olivet and USICH Senior Regional Advisor Tamara Wright traveled to Dallas, Texas, to meet with city and county leaders and homelessness service providers.

Dallas recently received $22 million in first-of-its-kind funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The city is using the funding to launch a new and innovative initiative to better integrate mental health and substance use treatment into housing-focused outreach and permanent supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness. The federal money will also be used to help more people experiencing homelessness enroll in Medicaid and other government assistance for which they are eligible. While in Dallas, the USICH team toured a permanent supportive housing building integrating this innovative approach, along with HUD Regional Administrator Candace Valenzuela; Dallas Homeless Solutions Director Christine Crossley; and local providers, including Sarah Kahn, the CEO of Housing Forward, the Continuum of Care (CoC) that coordinates local homelessness services.

Olivet also held meetings with Dallas Deputy City Manager Kim Tolbert, Dallas Homeless Solutions Assistance Director Wanda Moreland, and City Councilmember Jesse Moreno, to discuss their challenges and solutions. 

Dallas is one of several communities across the country participating in the White House and USICH’s ALL INside Initiative. Since last year, the federal government has embedded federal officials and deployed federal teams in ALL INside communities to help cut red tape that makes it difficult for people to move off the streets and into homes. A few highlights from Dallas' ALL INside Initiative include:

  • Setting aside 100 Dallas County Housing Authority housing vouchers a year for people experiencing homelessness (and pursuing similar changes for the area’s other housing authorities)
  • Developing a process to acquire and convert properties into affordable and/or permanent supportive housing
  • Lowering barriers for people experiencing homelessness to get IDs and Social Security cards, which are often required to receive housing and services

Dallas’ efforts are making a difference. From 2022 to 2023, chronic homelessness dropped 32% and unsheltered homelessness dropped 14%, according to HUD’s Point-in-Time Count. Part of those drops are also due to the R.E.A.L. Time Rehousing Initiative that began in 2021 with the help of federal funding and emergency housing vouchers from the American Rescue Plan. Since then, the city and the CoC helped more than 6,000 people overcome homelessness.

“Homelessness is deadly—but solvable—and Dallas shows that communities can humanely and effectively help people move off the streets and into homes. We are encouraged to see Dallas is using federal and other funds to innovatively expand access to not just housing but health care,” said USICH Director Jeff Olivet. “When we treat homelessness like the public health crisis that it is, and with the same urgency as a tornado or pandemic, we can end homelessness.”

While in Dallas, Director Olivet also presented at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs One Team Conference on Homelessness and participated in a panel alongside other federal officials and national advocates.  


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