Earlier this year, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas launched an innovative new pilot program that seeks to address a long-standing problem. The Targeted Eviction Prevention Project (TEPP) provides comprehensive case management to families in Southern Dallas with the goal of empowering them to stay in their homes so their children can stay in their schools.
TEPP is an important part of our Homeless Prevention and Intervention Initiative, which provides a continuum of services to address the complex, income-related challenges that often result in homelessness. By ensuring local families can stay in their homes, TEPP supports our three focus areas—education, income and health—because a stable home enables kids to do well in school, adults to succeed at work and North Texans of all ages to stay physically and mentally healthy.
Since we launched TEPP in January, it has already had a profound impact on housing and education for the participating families. Read on to learn more about the program and how it is helping to prevent homelessness right here in North Texas.
An Innovative Approach to Preventing Homelessness
TEPP is a partnership with Child Poverty Action Lab, CitySquare, UpTogether, Dallas Independent School District, TR Hoover, Texas Women’s Foundation, Carter’s House, Harmony CDC and ForOakCliff.
Prior to launching the program, the TEPP partners identified five schools that experience a high percentage of mid-year student moves and are in communities with high eviction rates. The project is focusing on families with students at Billy Earl Dade Middle School, Joseph J. Rhoads Learning Center, Dr. Martin Luther King Learning Center, Elisha M. Pease Elementary School or J.N. Ervin Elementary School. These schools have reported that 33% to 46% of their students change schools or leave school altogether in the middle of an academic year.
Working together, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and our partners are providing resources to hundreds of families in these communities with a goal of preventing evictions. By working to keep families in their homes, TEPP aims to prevent mid-year student moves and encourage stability and continuity in children’s education.
“Creating housing stability for families is key to a student’s success in school,” said Ashley Brundage, executive director of housing stability and senior vice president of community impact at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “Not only are evictions traumatic for mothers and children, but multiple moves are associated with lower school engagement, poor grades and high risk of dropping out of high school. By investing directly in a family’s need to maintain housing, we can influence the health, education and future income of a child.”
Be a Part of Our Housing Stability Work
Housing instability is a significant problem in North Texas, and it often leads to homelessness.
Studies show that nearly half of all Texans spend more than 30% of their income on housing, which means they are housing insecure. Meanwhile, the 2022 Point-in-Time Homeless Count found that more than 4,400 of our neighbors experience homelessness on any given night. One of the best ways we can prevent homelessness is by keeping people in their homes—and programs like TEPP are doing just that by creating housing stability and preventing evictions.
Ending homelessness is a goal that we can call work toward together. We invite you to join the movement to improve housing stability for all North Texans. Here are three easy ways to get involved: