The Human Impact exists to befriend the homeless and bridge the relational gap to change lives.
Over 5,000 people are homeless in the Dallas area, and over 500 are considered chronically, or long-term, homeless. There are many programs, services, and shelters to help the homeless. But often a deeper need goes unaddressed: the need for relationship. People who are homeless have often lost their support system. That’s where we step in.
1) Going to the Streets
We go to the same neighborhood multiple times a week where 500 homeless people live, either in a shelter nearby or an encampment. We sit and listen and laugh, sometimes for hours, next to our friends on the streets.
2) Meeting Practical Needs
As the friendship deepens, we share meals and coffee away from the streets, we take people to the doctor, visit people during cancer treatment, and help people get IDs. On the street, we host birthday parties, funerals, Street-Side Salons, and art therapy sessions.
3) Identifying Root Causes
People begin to share why they came to the streets in the first place. Their stories almost always involve the loss of a loved one, their support system – either through death or divorce or separation. Sometimes they are frozen as a result; sometimes they have coped through alcohol or drugs; sometimes they are depressed. We tell them we will walk alongside them as they take the steps to leave the streets.
Through advocacy and the expertise of other organizations, people connect with jobs, apartments, addiction recovery, counseling. Teams of 3-5 people come around them to meet weekly to discuss living a full life. We talk about all kinds of things; budgeting, opening a bank account, staying sober, hobbies, …
This is our future. This year, in partnership with Bonton Farms, we are opening two-three person homes into which some of our friends from the streets will move. We are creating a pathway from the streets into community – safe, affordable, accountable.