• Kleinert Foundation

Weekly Reader January 17, 2020

By: Hannah Rabalais, Program Officer

1. Why It's Important To Make The Most Of The Annual Homeless Count

By: KERA, Courtney Collins

"Why the homeless count needs to be accurate

Federal funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development is influenced by the annual homeless count, meaning if volunteers miss too many unsheltered homeless, they're leaving money on the table.It helps nonprofits plan their services and programs for the homeless. "They're out there, so if we don't see them Jan. 23, we may see them April 14 and we still need to take care of them," says Diana Romagnoli with the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance.

How the homeless count has changed over time

Dallas started counting in 2003, before HUD required a count and before the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance spearheaded the effort. Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance used to count with 500, then 750, then 1,000 volunteers. The effort has now grown to about 1,500 volunteers.Volunteers used to record the answers to homeless count questions with paper and pencil. Since 2017, MDHA has used an app which record data in real time. David Gruber, with Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance says the app helps on the back end too. "Once everybody is done counting, we can then sort by question, and we can query inside the app, ok, who's a veteran? Give us all the veterans," Gruber says."

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2. Motel 6 Expands Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Efforts through Partnerships with Truckers Against Trafficking and New Friends New Life

"Motel 6, a leader in the economy lodging segment in the United States and Canada, today announced partnerships with Truckers Against Trafficking and New Friends New Life as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to combat human trafficking.  These two partnerships come as the nation recognizes Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January, which highlights the growing problem worldwide.

“New Friends New Life is pleased to have Motel 6 joining in our efforts to combat human trafficking,” said Kim Robinson, CEO of New Friends New Life.  “The hotel and lodging industry can play a critical role in helping identify victims and in creating barriers for traffickers. Our partnership with Motel 6 will undoubtedly help change the lives of trafficking survivors here in Dallas and will impact survivors across the country.”

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3. American Airlines Joins Forces with New Friends New Life in Fight Against Human Trafficking

"As partners in the fight against human trafficking, American and New Friends New Life will raise awareness and support the needs of Dallas-area women and teens who have been affected by human trafficking. As part of the partnership, American team members will be able to engage in human trafficking awareness training sessions and volunteer activities organized in cooperation with New Friends New Life. The company will support New Friends New Life’s annual luncheon, as well as have an American executive serve on the organization’s board of directors.

“Human trafficking is a horrific crime, and unfortunately, it’s more common than many would expect. With a challenge as vast as this, solutions are often found by joining with a neighbor and taking action in your own backyard, which is what we plan to do in our partnership with New Friends New Life,” said Nate Gatten, Senior Vice President of Global Government Affairs for American. “We’re impressed by the meaningful and impactful work New Friends New Life is doing to improve the lives of formerly trafficked individuals in the Dallas area, and we’re eager to be a part of it.”

In recognition of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, American and New Friends New Life will kick off their partnership in late January with an event at American’s headquarters in Fort Worth. American team members will participate in a human trafficking awareness training session and join representatives from New Friends New Life for a volunteer activity."

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4. Creuzot: Bail reform in Dallas must differentiate dangerous defendants from poor defendants

By: Dallas Morning News, John Creuzot

"In response to The Dallas Morning News editorial board’s Jan. 5 piece titled “Dallas needs bail reform, but not a policy that puts violent offenders back on the streets,” I would like to clarify the mechanics of the bail system and to provide the community with transparency regarding the progress and vision surrounding bail reform in Dallas County. As district attorney of Dallas County, I am committed to striking the critical balance between ensuring community safety and respecting the due process rights of those people who have been accused of a crime.

The bail system should ensure that dangerous defendants are prevented from hurting the community — but not that poor defendants are kept in jail because of their economic disadvantages — pending the resolution of their cases. This is the vision that I championed before being elected DA, and it is the one that continues to guide my efforts as my office works towards making Dallas a safer and more just community for all.

For a fair and balanced bail system to operate, efforts to reform are required from all criminal justice system stakeholders. The editorial board’s critiques are not so much invalid as they are too narrowly focused. As the board points out, police officers alone should not bear the responsibility of criminal justice reform. In fact, no one part of the criminal justice system should. For the community to be safe, partners in the criminal justice system and community must collaborate to achieve such success, and when preventable crimes do occur, the spotlight needs to be focused on how we should work together and each do our part."

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5. Ian Harber: Helping Denton Flourish

By: Dallas Doing Good, Rochelle Dunbar

"While working toward his undergraduate degree, Ian found out about Serve Denton. “Five years ago, when I was living in Dallas, I heard about Serve Denton and all I thought was, ‘I want to be a part of that.’” He then reached out to a friend who worked for Serve Denton to see how he could get involved. The team told Ian they would keep him in mind for future job opportunities, and only a year later Ian was offered the role of Communications Coordinator.

Serve Denton is a nonprofit center that houses sixteen organizations. Some of those nonprofits including the Children’s Advocacy Center, Youth and Family Counseling, Zoie’s Place, and Recovery Resource Council. Serve Denton helps nonprofits grow their capacity and cut down on overhead expenses like workrooms, electricity, printers, and wifi, so that they can use funding to directly help people. Ian refers to Serve Denton as a “Mall of Humanity," a name that rings true as Serve Denton is the second biggest nonprofit center in Texas to offer on-site services."

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