Ask any real estate agent — preferably one from Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate — what they enjoy most about their job, and they’ll tell you: it’s helping people find a place to call home. A place to retreat after a long day, to regroup and relax, to dream big dreams for themselves and their family, to offer security and safety, to lay their head at night.
No matter who we are or what we do, we all need the stability that comes with having a home base to keep getting up every day and giving life another shot. Ask any homeless person what happens when that is taken away from you, and they’ll tell you it starts a downward spiral that’s difficult to recover from. At least on your own.
No one understands this hard truth better than CitySquare. This compassionate community neighbor, headquartered in the shadows of the I-30/I-45 interchange along Malcolm X Blvd, has been a lifelong friend to Dallas’ homeless. They started 29 years ago as Central Dallas Ministries, with the mission to fight the causes and effects of poverty through service, advocacy and friendship. On January 3, twenty-six Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate agents showed up to their highly anticipated new Cottages at Hickory Crossing, ready to join that fight.
The Cottages comprise 50 homes, each 400 square feet, with enough room for a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living area and a front porch. A public registry at Target provided furnishings and basics to stock each cottage, and the agents assisted in setting up and staging 12 of the new homes.
In addition to lending a hand, agents got a first-hand look at CitySquare’s pioneering approach to easing chronic homelessness, one based on a concept called “Housing First.” The model prioritizes providing the homeless with permanent housing as quickly as possible – and then providing voluntary supportive services as needed, such as mental health and medical services, job training and more. Studies show that when potential loss of housing is taken out of the equation, recovery and rehabilitation is more likely to be successful.
Scott Kaserman had this to say about his experience at CitySquare: “I learned something new. That it costs the city $40,000 annually for each of their most susceptible homeless persons, while it only costs them $15,000 to build one of these beautiful homes! The cottages have really taken a serious problem and come up with a serious solution. I think this community would help anyone to be better and to do more good in life.”
“What a wonderful project our city has invested in to help people down on their luck,” said Frada Sandler. “The houses are darling and will give them such a sense of pride, in addition to being part of a community that understands and helps their situation. Very rewarding!”
Ged Dipprey summed up the afternoon nicely when he said: “It was an amazing opportunity to finally see that as a city we aren’t apathetic to helping the “least of these.” CitySquare’s development restores the dignity, hopes and dreams of those fortunate to call one of these cottages “home.” It was a sweet reminder of the value associated with having a home to call our own and the special privilege it is to help others achieve their own dream of home ownership!”
To see more images from this event, please visit our Facebook page.
PHOTOGRAPHY CREDITS: JASON RILEY HOSS PHOTOGRAPHY, FORT WORTH, TX 817-676-5778