• Kleinert Foundation

Weekly Reader January 10, 2020

By: Hannah Rabalais, Program Officer

1. Dallas Has The Largest Homeless Population In Texas

By: KERA, Jason Martin

"Why Does Dallas Have The Largest Homeless Population In Texas?

The main reason that advocates give is the problem of housing affordability here in Dallas. There is not enough for the housing for people.

There is a lot of construction of rental supply, but not enough is aimed toward people that are low income.

So we are building a lot of housing in Dallas and in the suburbs of Dallas, but not enough for people that are in that bracket of economic income.  

How Do Homeless Advocacy Organizations Feel About Efforts In Texas?

I think there are reasons to be wary and there are reasons to be optimistic.

Let's start with the bad news: the numbers are going up. A state that has traditionally been thought of as affordable is slowly becoming less affordable with the growth that we have. There are more people coming into the state, there's more demand for housing, and that's clearly driving numbers up in terms of homelessness.

I don't know if the advocates feel that the state is doing enough to fight that. I think that a lot of the organizations want to have more support from the state and from the rich."

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2. How the Mayor’s Task Force on Violence Advises Curbing Dallas’ Murders

By: D Magazine, Shawn Shinneman

"The 16-member task force included a diverse group of backgrounds: advocates, community liaisons, an education specialist, a criminology professor, a real estate developer, and a chef who heads a nonprofit for kids who had gone through the juvenile justice system. They split into two groups. One was in charge of community outreach, canvassing neighborhoods and talking to people impacted by violence. The other sorted through studies, ran statistical models, negotiated for data, and mapped the city. Ultimately, the task force wanted to present items that could make a tangible difference if leaders expend the resources to enact a suggested action, says Alan Cohen, who is CEO of the Child Poverty Action Lab and co-chair of the group.

“If it is implemented as we’ve outlined and capitalized property, you should see results very quickly,” he says.

For each of the four strategies, it runs through an overview and a case study before spending the bulk of the time on “taking action,” including some ways to get started. Purely based on return on investment, fixing blight appears to be the most promising of the four suggestions. The task force estimates it can prevent 8.9 incidents of violence per year for every $10,000 it spends fixing boarded windows or broken-down doors and rehabbing vacant lots, areas that otherwise attract crime."

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3. Authorities: Use of social media apps to lure young victims becoming more prevalent

By: Longview News-Journal, Jimmy Daniell Isaac

“It’s just a new form of communicating,” Stiles said of social media. “I strongly encourage parents to monitor their children’s devices but also have an open community with their children to determine if they’re safe.”

According to an internet safety pamphlet recently published by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on the website, a survey of 12-to-17-year- olds revealed that 38% had posted self-created content such as photos, videos, artwork or stories.

Another survey of 10-to-17-year-olds revealed 46% admit to having given out their personal information to someone they did not know. The likelihood that children will give out personal information over the internet increases with age, with 56% of 16-to-17-year-olds most likely to share such information, according to the survey."

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4.How one patient spurred a Fort Worth hospital to revamp its domestic-violence screenings

By: The Dallas Morning News, Dana Branham

"In Dallas County, Jan Langbein is the CEO of the Genesis Women’s Shelter and chairs the Dallas County Intimate Partner Violence Fatality Review Team, which assesses domestic-violence homicides.

Representatives from the courts, various police departments, service providers such as Genesis and The Family Place, plus Child Protective Services and other agencies are all parts of the team.

“Every time we review one of these homicides, we look at her background. Did she call the police? Did she reach out to a shelter? Have you seen her?" Langbein said. “The answer has been, typically, no.”

But the fatality review team discovered while studying the cases of the 76 people who were killed by their partners between 2009 and 2013 that nearly every one of them had seen a health-care professional during their relationship with their abuser.

But only 30% of the victims had sought police or other legal intervention before they were killed. Only one sought domestic-violence services during the relationship with the perpetrator, according to Genesis."

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5. Op-ed: January is Human Trafficking Awareness month. Talk to your children about their safety.

By: Indy Star, Linda Oberhaus

"Human trafficking can and does happen to anyone. During January’s Human Trafficking Awareness Month, The Shelter for Abused Women & Children urges all parents to talk with your children about human trafficking the same way you would talk to them about drugs and sex. Otherwise, they may not see it and, like Theresa, fall victim to it, thinking that human trafficking only happens in Hollywood-style kidnappings.

Because these talks can be challenging, many parents avoid them. Research shows that children who’ve talked about sexuality with their parents are less likely to have unsafe sex. Talking to your children about body safety, boundaries, healthy relationships, and human trafficking will help them protect themselves and others.

These talks should not scare your children, but empower, educate, and prepare them to avoid the ploys used by traffickers including false promises, fake job offers, and fake relationships. The following bullet points are personal safety tips you can use with your children.

• Create an open channel of communication that continues as your child grows. Let them know that they can talk to you about anything, even if it’s difficult. Teach them to not keep secrets from you.

• Teach your child about the human body, consent, and respect. Help them understand that sexual abuse is never a child’s fault.

• Teach your child to trust their instincts. If something feels wrong or seems too good to be true, it probably is. Make a secret signal (code word, code text message, hand signal, etc.) they can use to tell you they’re in danger. 

• Explain to your teens that most victims of trafficking are not kidnapped by strangers, but exploited while they live at home and maintain contact with family and friends. Traffickers are skilled at tricking and controlling victims through lies, fake affection, threats, and violence, and forcing adults and children to perform sex acts against their will.

• Sex traffickers target teenagers from all backgrounds and neighborhoods. Other teenagers can also bring their peers into the sex industry. Make sure you know your teen’s friends, boyfriends, and girlfriends. Know your child’s internet, texting, and phone history.

These are just a few of the ways you can help safeguard your child from falling prey to trafficking and abuse. "

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