City of Dallas closing down newest Tent City

The city of Dallas is now taking steps to close a second Tent City.

It's not far from where the original one shut down in early May. It’s a few blocks south of the old Tent City under I-45 near downtown Dallas.

David Beason, who moved when the last Tent City closed in May, is already on his way out of the second camp before the July 19 deadline.

“They gotta do something but running them out in the streets is not the answer,” he said.

Beason says he understands the concerns about trash and safety but insists there must be a better way.

Dave Hogan with DPD’s Crisis Intervention Unit says the city wasn't left with many choices.

The second camp is now up to an estimated 120 people. Some people are living in unsafe crawl spaces created by discarded concrete beams under the interstate.

“If they fall over, people are actually trying to live inside those zipper beams,” said Hogan. “Very, very dangerous.”

Social workers are offering help to connect homeless people with family members that could house them. They're also steering some toward rehab.

But long term housing solutions would have to come from the Mayor's newly formed Commission on Homelessness, formed around the time of the last Tent City closure to figure out where Dallas' homeless could go.

“There's not a one-size-fits-all solution or approach,” said Tanya Ragan with the newly-formed commission. “We really have to dig deep and educate ourselves and look at how we can help each personally with their own individual needs.

The commission has more meetings this summer. They expected to give the first recommendations to the city council in August, including ideas for how to pay for more supportive housing for the homeless.

In the meantime, the crisis intervention unit says it will continue to give written notices to people in the camp under I-45 before the July 19 shut down deadline.

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