The City of Denton has a number of initiatives and projects in progress to support the Denton County Homelessness Leadership Team's goals and strategic plan to make homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring.
Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness
The mayors of the City of Denton and City of Lewisville have signed on to the national Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness in 2018. An end to Veteran homelessness means that our community will ensure homelessness among Veterans is prevented whenever possible or is otherwise a rare, brief, and non-recurring experience. Specifically, as a community we will:
- Quickly identify and engage Veterans at-risk of and/or already experiencing homelessness.
- Intervene to prevent the loss of housing.
- Provide immediate access to shelter and crisis services while permanent stable housing and appropriate supports are being secured.
- Quickly connect Veterans experiencing homelessness to housing assistance and services-tailored to their unique needs.
The community is currently engaged in a 100-day challenge, from April 1 to July 10, to help all Veterans experiencing homelessness in Denton County gain housing.
View veteran homelessness data and find information about how to get involved in these efforts on the United Way of Denton County's website.
Loop 288 Building
In 2020, City Council approved the purchase of the property at 909 Loop 288, a 34,000 square foot building, for a co-located day center and overnight shelter to provide services to people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness. The City has identified a local nonprofit, Our Daily Bread, to provide services from the Loop 288 facility. Our Daily Bread will consolidate and combine their current two locations at Our Daily Bread food kitchen (300 W Oak Street) and Monsignor King Outreach Center (MKOC) shelter (300 S Woodrow Lane) to operate the center.
City staff, Our Daily Bread and other stakeholders worked on design development that was presented to City Council in February 2021. In April, Council directed staff to proceed with the next steps for construction drawings, contractor procurement and beginning construction. The current target date for opening the facility is December 2022.
City Funding & Support
The City of Denton provides financial support through the City's General Fund and State and Federal Funds received. In FY2020/2021, the City will provide a combined amount of $1,111,600 million of financial support for homeless prevention and assistance in Denton County. The following is direct financial support to local social service agencies:
- Denton County Friends of the Family - Emergency Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence
- Giving HOPE, Inc. - Street Outreach
- Grace Like Rain, Inc. - Rent and Utility Assistance
- Interfaith - Utility Assistance
- Monsignor King Outreach Center - Enhanced Emergency Shelter
- Our Daily Bread - Emergency Housing Assistance and Case Management
- Salvation Army Denton - Kitchen and Emergency Food Assistance
- United Way of Denton County - Housing Barrier Funding, Funding Partner for the Denton County Homeless Leadership Team (DCHLT)
The City has also secured additional funding for homeless prevention and assistance through state and federal funds available due to the Coronavirus pandemic, including:
- Emergency Solutions Grant CARES Act (ESG-CV): $1.4 million of funding for street outreach, shelter, housing and homeless prevention to prevent, prepare and respond to Coronavirus
- Texas Emergency Rental Assistance Program (TERAP): $187,444 of funding for emergency rental assistance for people impacted by COVID-19
Direct Financial Support
In addition to direct financial support, the City is leading and coordinating efforts to address homelessness in other ways. The City of Denton is helping by providing:
- Providing the facility for the Monsignor King Outreach Center (MKOC) homeless shelter through a lease agreement for a $1 per year for ten years and providing funding for an Enhanced Shelter program to provide additional nights open
- Providing Community Development staff resources to manage pass-through grants and increase coordination between the City and its partners
- Providing Police and Fire staff resources and two police officers dedicated to working with the Street Outreach Team dedicated to connecting with individuals living unsheltered
Homeless Outreach Team
The City deploys a collaborative approach to homeless street outreach including law enforcement and nonprofit partners. The Denton Police Department's Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) employs two full-time officers who engage with people living unsheltered. HOT partners with Giving HOPE, a local nonprofit, to connect people living unsheltered to housing, mental health, substance use treatment and other resources. HOT responds to community requests and proactively connects with people living unsheltered to address any health and safety concerns and help people move from homeless to housed.
Residents with concerns of individuals living unsheltered can submit requests through the Engage Denton service portal.