The Dallas Farmers Market is a prominent and special part of Dallas' history. There is great cause to treasure this icon and to view it as a key part of the development and renewal of downtown.
Already, the neighborhood serves as the host for The Bridge, a homeless shelter within a block from the DFM. The Bridge serves 1,200 homeless people each day. A new proposal seeks to place another development in the DFM DIstrict that will allow for out-placing 125 additional homeless people into permanent supportive housing every four months.
While there is a great pride for Dallas' efforts, it is tempered with an awareness of the issues associated with supportive housing: an increase in panhandling, loitering, drug presence and other unfortunate downsides to any social rehabilitation.
Please support the Dallas Farmers Market and encourage Dallas City Council Members to take into mind the effect additional supportive housing will have on the district and its visitors.
I am writing to you as a resident of the City of Dallas and as a supporter of the Dallas Farmers Market (or, as a member of the Dallas Farmers Market Friends.)
The Dallas Farmers Market is a prominent and special part of Dallas' history.There is great cause to treasure this icon and to view it as a key part of the development and renewal of downtown. As other area communities invest to create their own farmer's markets, Dallas is in the enviable position of having bragging rights to the oldest and largest one not only in the Southwest, but more likely, in the nation.
The proposals to bring supportive housing in the Dallas Farmers Market District (DFM District) pose a risk to this beloved establishment. This risk comes at a very inopportune time in the DFM District that will allow for out-placing 125 people "experiencing into permanent supportive housing every four months."
No major city is a stranger to the needs of the disadvantaged, and a progressive solution such as The Bridge is an enormous step toward solving a universal problem. While there is great pride for Dallas' efforts, it is tempered with an awareness of the issues associated with homeless shelters, soup kitchens and supportive housing: an increase in panhandling, loitering, drug presence and the other unfortunate downsides to any social rehabilitation.
It serves Dallas in no way to undermine the economical potential of the DFM District by localizing social services and subsequently setting a negative course for any further residential or commercial development, or worse, public support.
I urge you, as a city official, to seriously consider your position on supportive housing in the DFM District. I understand and appreciate the goal to "cure homelessness" in 2015, but please... not at the cost of our Dallas Farmers Market.