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The Dallas Morning News Charities has reached an important milestone, surpassing the million-dollar mark in the campaign’s final month.
As of Friday, 1,060 donors had contributed more than $1.05 million to the drive, which benefits 20 nonprofits that serve the homeless, hungry and unemployed in North Texas.
Camille Grimes, executive director of The Charities, said reaching the million-dollar point is significant for the agencies.
"It’s crystal clear that our donors have an enormous desire to make a difference in the lives of North Texans in need," she said. "By the simple act of giving, people can change the course of another person’s life."
The drive launched Nov. 14 with a kickoff event at the Winspear Opera House downtown.
Bob Sweeney of Dallas Life Foundation gives a hug to Camille Grimes), executive director of The Dallas Morning News Charities, as she presents him a check during the Charities kickoff event Nov. 14 at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas.
The campaign runs until Jan. 31 and has a goal of $1.5 million. Last year’s drive raised over $1.25 million through roughly 1,550 donors.
Since 1986, The Dallas Morning News Charities has raised nearly $32.2 million. The News covers all administrative costs so that 100 percent of donations benefit the 20 charities.
This year’s campaign started with over $363,000 already in the coffers. That money was distributed in checks during the November kickoff event.
Brenda Ewing Snitzer, executive director of The Stewpot, said the campaign helps the nonprofit fund its casework services critical to helping the roughly 15,000 homeless men and women it serves get into housing and off the streets.
Last year’s annual homeless census showed a 9 percent increase from the year before in the number of people living on the streets of Dallas and Collin counties. The number of unsheltered — those who don’t seek housing in shelters and live on the streets — rose 23 percent, according to same census.
And Snitzer said affordable housing continues to be an issue because Dallas doesn’t have enough of it in stock to get people out of emergency shelters quickly and into houses or apartments.
"It just seems to continue to grow," Snitzer said of the number of homeless men and women. "We are getting people housed, but there’s still many, many more that are not housed."
Funds from the campaign also will support The Stewpot’s counseling services, which are aimed at helping people with trauma that either happened to them while living on the streets or in a shelter or preceded the homelessness.
Short-term counseling is a relatively new offering at the agency this year, with a dedicated staff person overseeing it for both individuals and groups.
"Because a lot of people who come to us that have been on the streets or been in shelters have a lot of trauma," Snitzer said.
2018-19 DMN Charities recipients
Allen Community Outreach
Emergency assistance with rent, utilities, food and clothing for families in Allen, Fairview and Lucas. Financial literacy and GED classes are also offered.
Arlington Life Shelter
Emergency food and shelter, employment assistance and family counseling for homeless men, women and children in eastern Tarrant County.
Austin Street Center
Food, shelter, medical, psychiatric and psychological treatment and substance abuse counseling for the homeless.
Emergency and transitional shelter, supportive housing services, meals, primary and behavioral health care services, job search and educational services for the homeless.
Brother Bill’s Helping Hand
Food, clothing, medical assistance to families in West Dallas. Job training, parenting, healthy living and ESL classes also are offered.
Cedar Hill Shares
Provides food, clothing, utility assistance and school supplies to needy families in Cedar Hill.
Provides homeless children and young adults with emergency shelter and transitional residential services. Operates an emergency youth shelter for children newborn to 17 and transitional living program for 18- to 21-year-olds.
Crossroads Community Services
Food, nutrition, clothing and life skills education.
Dallas Life Foundation
Emergency short-term and long-term shelter for homeless men, women and children. Employment training, medical and dental services are also provided.
Duncanville Outreach Ministry
Food, clothing and financial assistance with rent, utilities and prescription medication for persons in Duncanville.
Shelter and supportive housing programs for children and families affected by homelessness with wrap-around services including case management, adult and children’s services and an education program.
Frisco Family Services Center
Food, clothing and financial assistance with rent/mortgages, utilities and prescription drugs to families living in Frisco or Frisco ISD. Adult life skills workshops are also offered.
LifeLine Shelter for Families
Financial assistance to families who are homeless or on the verge of homelessness in Grand Prairie ISD. Life skills training is also provided.
NETWORK of Community Ministries
Food, clothing, financial assistance for rent and utilities, as well as a children’s clinic and comprehensive seniors’ net program for those 60 and older.
North Texas Food Bank — Food 4 Kids
Food 4 Kids program provides weekend food aid for elementary school children at risk of being chronically hungry.
A faith-based organization that serves the unsheltered homeless in Dallas by providing food, showers, clothing and resources.
Our Daily Bread
Noon-day meals, weekend snack pack program, bus passes, counseling, personal care items, limited health screening and referrals, phone answering service and mailing address for the homeless in Denton County.
Shelter, food, clothing, counseling, educational services and transitional housing for homeless, runaway and at-risk teens.
Sharing Life Community Outreach
Food, clothing and financial assistance for rent and utilities; educational programs; and job skills training for low-income residents in southeastern Dallas County.
Urgent and long-term assistance to the homeless and at-risk families; meals; ID documentation; representative payee program; dental, medical and mental health services; job assistance; and inner-city youth programs.
To donate or to learn more
To learn more about or donate to The Dallas Morning News Charities, visit dmncharities.com. Tax-deductible contributions can be mailed to The Dallas Morning News Charities, 5500 Caruth Haven Lane, Dallas, TX, 75225.