Originally Published by AT&T.
AT&T*, is committed to helping build a better tomorrow for the homeless community in the city of Dallas. We’re doing that through a new initiative we call “Believe DallasSM,” with the goal of mitigating homelessness for service-accepting families and veterans in Dallas.
AT&T is bringing together its leadership, employees and resources to work alongside the city, business and non-profit communities, and established homeless service providers (HSP) in the Dallas area to maximize impact in the homeless community. This program is an extension of AT&T Believes, a larger company-wide initiative, which aims to create positive change in local communities.
To help us move closer to that goal, we are giving $565,000 in contributions to Dallas-area homeless service providers for their outreach programs. The HSPs are also eligible for part of $150,000 in additional funding provided by AT&T.
AT&T is also proud to announce a collaboration with Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter’s House and his church’s Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative(T.O.R.I.) to focus on the untapped pool of eligible candidates through second chance hiring.
“We have a legacy of service in the communities we work and live. We think we can make a meaningful difference by focusing our resources on local challenges like homelessness here in Dallas. In other cities, we’re addressing other man-made disasters,” said John Donovan, CEO of AT&T Communications.
Over the past year, the company launched AT&T Believes in Chicago and New York and now, Dallas. In Chicago, we’re focusing on hiring and training efforts in neighborhoods heavily impacted by gun violence. In New York, we’re using our retail stores to help educate families on how protect their children online and give them effective tools to address the problems head-on.
In Dallas, over the past 3 years, the unsheltered homeless population has grown by nearly 269%. Nearly 200 new homeless individuals are identified each month1. OurCalling is one of the agencies that will receive $150,000 from the $565,000 in contributions. OurCalling is a religious-based nonprofit whose goal is to help homeless individuals discover the reasons they are homeless and to provide them with resources to help overcome those challenges. OurCalling plans to use the contribution to create a new space for homeless women in Dallas.
“The most vulnerable residents of Dallas are living on our streets and unable to escape the horrors that prey on them. Nearly 90% of unsheltered homeless women self-report a history of sexual exploitation and continued regular sexual assaults,” said Pastor Wayne Walker, Executive Director OurCalling. “These same women are not only victimized, they are also vilified in our community and have little hope of escape. We have a moral obligation to provide a place of safety, with a team of highly skilled professionals who can address immediate and long-term needs. The drop-in Women’s Center will be the first of its kind in Dallas and the perfect extension of our current facility.”
The balance of the $565,000 will be distributed to the following agencies:
- $125,000 to Downtown Dallas Inc. (challenge contribution)
- $50,000 to Communities Foundation to help with production and dissemination of public service announcements
- $30,000 to City Square to support job training for homeless veterans
- $30,000 to The Bridge to support ongoing veterans’ health programs
- $30,000 to Austin Street Center to support veterans’ programs and a day program for women
- $30,000 to Family Gateway to support child programs and housing for families
- $30,000 to Dallas Life to support housing for families
- $30,000 to The Stewpot to support health services for families and veterans
- $30,000 to Union Gospel Mission to support families and job training
- $30,000 to Genesis Women’s Shelter to support shelters for abused women and children fleeing domestic violence
In addition to the contributions, AT&T is helping to match employees interested in volunteering with HSPs and opportunities. On Tuesday, AT&T is hosting an HSP fair to introduce employees to homeless organizations and further educate them on the causes of homelessness. Employees are also assembling hygiene kits which will be donated to the local providers for them to give to their clients.