Dallas feels the benefits of The Bridge's impact on local homeless
The Bridge is a new expression of 'civic'. It elevates caring for the least of our community to civic importance. It empowers the homeless to come off the streets, maintain sustainable and permanent housing and live as productive citizens.
Located on the edge of the central business district, the 75,000-sq-ft facility supports more than 1,000 guests daily. It is comprised of six buildings around a courtyard. It is the first sustainable homeless centre, achieving LEED Silver. Through partnerships between service providers, The Bridge delivers comprehensive care including emergency shelter, meals, medical care, counseling, employment assistance, training, on-site transitional housing and permanent housing placement.
The Bridge is a social and economic driver for the region. Before the Bridge, the homeless population was estimated at 6,000. The latest count revealed only 150 individuals living on the streets. 1,400 formerly homeless are now successfully living in permanent housing. Crime in downtown has been reduced by 26%. Surrounding property values are increasing, even in a declining market.
The Bridge reverses the paradigm of homeless shelters in America. It eschews the notion that we 'warehouse' people, bringing to the city a translucent, light-filled beacon of hope not just for the homeless, but for all of Dallas. It proves that homeless shelters should not be isolated but an integrated part of our community - valuable civic buildings representing the compassion of our society.
In a recent design awards program, the Bridge outpaced the Winspear Opera House by Norman Foster, the Wylie Theater by Rem Koolhaas and the Museum of Science and History by Ricardo Legoretta. A homeless center is redefining design excellence in civic architecture.