THE DALLAS PROJECT is predicated on the simple fact that if every church, synagogue, mosque and temple in America were to take in just one homeless person or family, “homelessness” in America would be eradicated overnight.
The religious establishment has abdicated it’s responsibility for the poor in favor of more building programs and political activism, and left them at the “mercy” of government bureaucracy. Even with welfare reforms in recent years, the needy are left without advocates and, more importantly, friends.
THE DALLAS PROJECT, formally established in 1987, is a methodology that enables churches, synagogues, private charities, and other organizations whose stated purpose is the meeting of human need, to actually take responsibility for individual welfare recipients, doing whatever is necessary to help them turn their lives around.
Through The Dallas Project, we’ve been able to help
the jargon and bureaucracy of the urban
social service status quo
to give needy people what they need most–
THE DALLAS PROJECT works precisely for the reason that welfare programs as they’re usually provided have not worked: interaction is human – not programmatic. Rather than further alienating welfare “clients,” we draw them into a caring community, which is what they desperately need both psychologically and spiritually. In this new arena, these “people in need” are encouraged and more apt to make decisions for themselves. New freedom from the horrible addiction of dependency begins…
THE DALLAS PROJECT serves as a catalyst in this process by identifying, recruiting, and motivating the participants from both sides.
The Project will succeed when it has lost it’s reason to be. We will never become a bureaucracy, but will instead strive to work ourselves out of a job.
HERE’S HOW YOU CAN HELP:
Talk to your friends, to members of your religious or fraternal organizations, to your neighbors and business associates. Enlist 10 to 20 people who are willing to commit with you to take in a homeless person or welfare family. Make it clear this involves more than merely giving money. It will take time – time to help them get settled and time to get to know them.
People in need are all around us. If we would just open our eyes, we would see them. You can locate a family to help through our organization.
THE DALLAS PROJECT, or one of the many other private social service organizations already working with the homeless and the poor, will be glad to recommend a person or family to you to help.
1. Give them a place to live – in your own home if there is room – or a nearby apartment – a place close enough for daily contact, if possible. Have your entire group get involved – introduce yourselves – help them move in. Let the family know that this is their support group and they’re not alone – now they have 20 people committed to their welfare.
2. The rest of their needs can be met as you would meet your own. A job, a car or a ride to work, daycare, help with enrolling in school, learning to read – whatever it takes. Use the combined ingenuity, knowledge, and resources of your group. Use government resources only as a last resort.
3. One of the reasons your adopted family has been forgotten and voiceless in society is because they don’t know how to use the “system,” i.e., they have been excluded from the way things work. But, you can use the system for them. For instance, there are many in the legal and medical professions who have “pro bono” clauses in their codes to provide free services. Help them tap into that. But if that’s not available, take them to your own doctor and pay their bills yourself.
4. There is no structure in this; no one to complain to later, no one to tell you what to do. Some in your group will want to work with the family more than others. Some in this mix of people will get along better than others. But whatever form your group takes, there should be enough resources to help this family get off welfare and become contributors to society, maybe for the first time.