How on God’s green earth does a city ban Churches from helping the homeless?
Ahead of anticipated freezing temperatures Monday and Tuesday nights, Dallas officials scrambled before they decided to open the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center to shelter those living on the streets.
But the city continues to struggle with long-term fixes. And a zoning restriction that prevents faith-based organizations from offering emergency shelters to the homeless in inclement weather won’t make it to the Dallas City Council for a vote until spring — nearly a year after a draft ordinance was first proposed.
Monica Hardman, director of the Office of Homeless Solutions, said the code is currently very restrictive, and lifting the ban requires creating new policies “out of scratch.”
Dallas hasn’t added a shelter bed in over a decade. The Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance reported more than 4,500 homeless people during its count early this year — a 19% increase compared to four years ago.
“There’s really not an easy way to create any type of shelter, period,” Hardman said. “For me I have that burden of, let’s move as fast as we can. Let’s get it done. There’s some things, unfortunately, that we can’t speed up.”
This is absolutely absurd and sickening that the city of Dallas put an ordinance in place that forbids places of worship to provide shelter for the homeless during winter weather. Absolutely appalling and wrong!