Cindy Crain, the new CEO of Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance (MDHA) joins the team to talk about homelessness in Dallas and MDHA's new strategies to understanding the issue and coming up with creative solutions, including increasing the number of volunteers who help with the annual Point In Time Count each January and increasing street outreach staff to bring direct and ongoing case management to people experiencing homelessness. Since the recording of this episode, MDHA has released their 2016 PIT Count data and conducted their annual State of Homelessness Address. Based on this year's results, unsheltered homelessness has more than doubled since 2015 and homelessness across the board has increased approximately 24% in Dallas County.
Pastor Wayne Walker, Executive Director of Our Calling, joins the Street View Podcast team again to discuss Compassion Fatigue, Tent City and the new Our Calling app for iPhones and iPads, Help I'm Homeless, that offers people instant access to resource referral to help someone experiencing homelessness and better coordinates existing resources.
In episode two of the new season, the original crew, Rashad, Jasmine and Ryan discuss some topics that are weighing heavy on Rashad, including relationship problems, stagnancy, time and energy, selflessness, low-rent housing conditions and living life without regrets.
The crew is back for an all-new season of Street View. On the season premiere, Rashad, Antoinette, Ryan and Jasmine catch up and talk about a variety of topics, including how respect is learned, the library's new projects, being named Best Local Podcast by Dallas Observer, conformity, capitalism and the idea of self-sufficiency in an increasingly interdependent society.
The Street View Podcast Team catches up on the past year and what the future holds for the podcast and the library's Homeless Engagement Initiative. Rashad reflects on how much life has changed since the podcast started almost two years ago, how much the library has meant to him in that time, and his inner conflict about currently being stable and "selfish." The future of the podcast is up in the air as Rashad debates whether or not it would be best to "hand over the mic" to someone else next season.
The Street View team is joined by new library staff person, Shonta Bradford, library regular Charlie Piano and library volunteer Luis Cabrera. The team discusses the struggles of ex-offenders in seeking work as well as the resources available to those in need at the library. Luis was released from a 14-year sentence in November 2013 and found his way to the library to access up-to-date listings of employers who hire ex-offenders. He has since started his own organization aimed at helping ex-offender find employment. The team also gets an update from Charlie Piano who was featured in Season 1 of Street View. Though he is now living in a tent, Charlie continues to find happiness through his quilting and his strong relationships with the Stewpot and the 4th floor of the Central Library.
Brother Bill Thompson, Executive Director of Union Gospel Mission (UGM) visits with the Street View team about the services available through UGM and its affiliate shelters and services, including emergency shelter for men, women and children, and vocational training. UGM has served Dallas area residents in need since 1949. Brother Bill has served as the Executive Director since 1988 and continues to UGM evolve to meet the new and increasing needs of the homeless and hungry in Dallas.
According to John Dornheim, Special Projects Manager of NAMI Dallas, National Alliance on Mental Illness, one if four people are affected by mental illness. Many times it is more than just the person who suffer, it is his/her friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances. John joins the Street View Podcast team to talk about mental illness, mental health and how NAMI works to provide education, support and advocacy for those affected by mental illness. Mr. Dornheim too suffered from mental illness prior to joining NAMI and shares his personal experiences.
Brenda Street, founder of God's Truest Miracles joins the Street View Podcast team to talk about her transitional housing programs and her personal story from pulling herself out of alcoholism and homelessness to establishing God's Truest Miracles. Brenda shares some 'Brenda-isms' and her personal philosophy on success and how she tries to instill it in others.
Pastor Len Taylor of The Lord's Hands and Hearts Ministries joins Rashad and the team to talk about hope and homelessness. Pastor Len provides service at Solomon's Porch on Saturday mornings as part of the ministries. Rashad and Pastor Len met for the first time while both were staying at Dallas homeless shelters. Pastor Len who was raised in by a preacher-father and a church-going mother, found himself homeless for a short period after his life spiraled out of control following his divorce. He provides a unique perspective and lively dialogue on the need for hope for those experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty in South Dallas and how respect, fellowship and places like Solomon's Porch can help.