“If y’all really want a solution to homelessness, you might want to go talk to the homeless.”
– Rashad recollecting the words of Larry James of CitySquare
After nearly 2 1/2 years, the Street View Podcast team comes together one last time to give some insight and perspective on the issue of homelessness. The team talks mental health, affordable housing, drug abuse, rehabilitation, tent cities, parting thoughts and how everyone you meet is on their own timeline. As much as we want people to be on our timelines, we must meet people where they are and help them how we can in that place. The Dallas Public Library’s Homeless Engagement will continue to provide one-on-one assistance and engagement programs to people experiencing homelessness. To follow the program, visit http://dallaslibrary2.org/homeless/.
“The only thing anyone can say they possess in this world when they get here is time and energy. … Individuals, including myself, should hone in on how we use and spend that time and energy.”
– Rashad discussing how we choose to use our time and energy
In episode two of the new season, the original crew, Rashad, Jasmine and Ryan discuss some topics that are weighing heavy on Rashad, including relationship problems, stagnancy, time and energy, selflessness, low-rent housing conditions and living life without regrets.
“There is no cookie-cutter answer for each person who comes through the door. Some people have been hurt, some have been discouraged, some have been misused, some abused and so it’s not until that issue that brought that person into homelessness presents itself that any kind of resolution can take place.”
– Bill Thompson, Executive Director, Union Gospel Mission
Brother Bill Thompson, Executive Director of Union Gospel Mission (UGM) visits with the Street View team about the services available through UGM and its affiliate shelters and services, including emergency shelter for men, women and children, and vocational training. UGM has served Dallas area residents in need since 1949. Brother Bill has served as the Executive Director since 1988 and continues to UGM evolve to meet the new and increasing needs of the homeless and hungry in Dallas.
“I help you to incorporate new values and new beliefs about you, raising self-esteem, self-awareness, self-acceptance because that’s what true success is. It’s not about how much money I make. It’s not about how big my organization is, it’s about me helping you become who God intended you to be.”
– Brenda Street, founder of God’s Truest Miracles on ‘What is Success?’
Brenda Street, founder of God’s Truest Miracles joins the Street View Podcast team to talk about her transitional housing programs and her personal story from pulling herself out of alcoholism and homelessness to establishing God’s Truest Miracles. Brenda shares some ‘Brenda-isms’ and her personal philosophy on success and how she tries to instill it in others.
“You know when you see a guy drowning there is a lot of things you can throw his direction. Maybe I’ll throw a sandwich his direction. Maybe a toothbrush, a razor, a blanket. But when a guy is drowning what he really needs is to be rescued. … The problem [of homelessness] is much bigger. Many of the solutions we provide are just band-aids. … Without a foundation of faith, a dysfunctional life cannot even begin the process of healing.”
– Pastor Wayne Walker on why he believes the Gospel is the answer to solving homelessness
The Street View Podcast team reunites with Pastor Wayne Walker, Executive Director of Our Calling. Pastor Wayne was featured on one of our most popular episodes from last season, “When Sin Takes Over,” which stirred up some controversial ideas about sin and homelessness. He joins us again to talk more about the general dysfunction that all humans deal with, the issue of providing short-term solutions to individuals experiencing homelessness and his philosophy on healing the whole person.
“As individuals and as communities, we experience some compassion fatigue and it’s hard for many people to understand what a terribly hard job and emotionally draining experience being homeless is.”
– Mike Faenza on the need for more compassion and understanding in order to end homelessness.
In Episode 8 of Street View, you meet Mike Faenza, President of the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance (MDHA), a non-profit that serves as the coordinating entity for the $16 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding shared among forty-four area homeless service agencies. In addition to stewarding these funds, MDHA is responsible for tracking the outcomes of these agencies and providing recommendations for improvements. Their ultimate goal: to end homelessness in Dallas. It’s quite the mission, but according to Mike, “On one hand we feel like we are making a big difference. On a bad day we feel like we are bailing out the ocean with a teaspoon.” Mike addresses questions about housing from homeless guests, Don Foreback and Leon Holeman, both of whom struggle with steady employment and housing options. There is a serious shortage of affordable housing for the poor and homeless in Dallas with 20,000 people on a waiting list, the maximum allowed on the list, leaving thousands more waiting to get on the waiting list. Ultimately, the conversation turns to the need for increased community awareness and a change in public perception regarding homelessness and those experiencing it.