Dallas ISD, who is partnering with Promise House, CitySquare and Social Venture Partners Dallas under the program After8toEducate to bring a first-of-its-kind service to address the needs of vulnerable students and other unsheltered city youth, celebrated the opening of the drop-in center at the Fannie C. Harris Youth Center Tuesday. But cold temperatures are bringing immediate needs (Photo courtesy After8toEducate).

As Ashley Warren stood shivering outside the Fannie C. Harris Youth Center Tuesday as dignitaries and partners cut the ribbon on the first phase of the drop-in center for Dallas ISD’s homeless youth, she realized something — her office was about to get even busier than usual.

Marshall is the manager of the district’s homeless education program, and when the mercury drops, she begins to worry about the thousands of students who lack shelter.

“I went to ribbon cutting for our new drop-in center today, and it was so cold,” she told me last night. “I realized that we are in for a bad winter and our phone is going to start to ring off the hook for various items.”

The district has about 4,000 students each year that are considered homeless — but most experts feel that number is likely much higher, since some won’t admit they’re homeless. (more…)


Downtown Dallas stakeholders, along with Dallas ISD trustee Miguel Solis and Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Adam Medrano, presented Focus on Teens with a $2,250 donation to help provide the necessities for the thousands of Dallas ISD homeless students that utilize the district’s drop-in centers (photos courtesy Tanya Ragan/Wildcat Management)

As the holiday season approaches, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of providing Christmas cheer for family and friends — and it’s equally easy to forget that not everyone will have a home to go to for the holidays.

Such is the case for the thousands of Dallas ISD students — estimates are anywhere from 3,000 to 6,500 — who are homeless.

As we’ve talked about before, even the most prosperous high schools in Dallas ISD have students experiencing need. Without the district’s drop-in centers, which provide things like clean uniforms, food, and toiletries to students (as well as filling other emergency needs), these students would find it much more difficult to stay in school. (more…)

Dallas ISD

Dallas ISD and several nonprofits forged a partnership to address the needs of homeless students when trustees approved the effort last night (Photo courtesy Flickr/Arul Irudayam).

It was quite possibly the shortest school board meeting Dallas ISD has had in quite some time, and some board members were nearly giddy.

“I would just like to point out that it’s 7:45,” said trustee Dustin Marshall, right before board president Dan Micciche gaveled the meeting to a close.

In an often fractious board, that bonhomie was due in large part to an 8-0 vote to approve a collaborative effort called After8ToEducate, which will provide a groundbreaking shelter and drop-in center for Dallas ISD students who are homeless.

The partnership will include the district and nonprofits Promise House and CitySquare. Social Venture Partners Dallas is another partner. (more…)