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‘Breakfast with the Mayor’ event raises $80,000 for homeless agency

Event: Eighth Annual Breakfast with the Mayor

Date: Feb. 5, 2016

Venue: The Fort Worth Club

Host: DRC, formerly the Day Resource Center for the Homeless

Purpose: To celebrate the work of the DRC; raise at least $25,000 to help the homeless in Fort Worth (the event raised about $80,000 from table sponsorships and attendees who donated during the event)

Highlights:

Permanent supportive housing – not just temporary shelter – is the “single biggest factor” in ending homelessness, Mayor Betsy Price said.

That focus on providing permanent housing services is one of the reasons DRC rebranded in 2015. The nonprofit agency shortened its name from Day Resource Center for the Homeless to DRC to better reflect its variety of services other than providing a “day shelter” for the homeless in Fort Worth, DRC Executive Director Bruce Frankel said.

Frankel said DRC’s goal is to not just give homeless people a place to say but also provide a stable living environment to prevent them from becoming homeless again.

About 90 percent of homeless people that are put in housing through DRC maintain their housing after one year, he said.

One featured guest knew what homelessness was like firsthand – Devan Allen grew up transferring from city to city as her single mother, a convicted felon, had difficulty finding work. With the help of her high school counselor, grandmother and others supporting her, Allen became the first person in her family to graduate college. Allen now works as the senior director of external affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington.

She is also part of the DRC Board of Directors to help those that were in a similar situation as she was, she said.

“As someone who has experienced difficulties in my life, I am passionate about helping people in similar situations move beyond survival and chart a path toward success,” she said. 

The event also paid tribute to a homeless man that passed away in 2015 – Charlie Joyner, who used to greet guests that walked by in downtown Fort Worth. Sundance Square management put up a plaque with his name and a phrase Joyner was known to repeat to those he greeted: “Have a blessed day.”

Quotables:

“[Charlie Joyner] had a message. He had a story. He had something to say and something to tell. Usually it came in the form of a smile or a handshake, or it came in the form of ‘Have a blessed day.'”

-Johnny Campbell, President and CEO of Sundance Square 

“After a life full of challenges, twists and turns, through my faith, I have channeled pain and grief into grace, and I stand upon it as a platform to serve others. I’ve long-reached the place in my path where I’m not okay living worried with the ‘what if’s.’ I refuse to sit idly by while others are struggling. The really cool thing is that we don’t have to wonder, ‘What if?’ Not today.” 

-Devan Allen, DRC Board of Directors and Senior Director of External Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington  

“Housing has turned out to be the best, No. 1 solution for any homelessness and it sounds so intuitive, right? If you put someone in a home, they’re no longer homeless, but when we put someone in a home, we recognize that being homeless is not just not having shelter. It’s not having a home community. To be able to develop neighborhood based solutions, get people off the streets, get people back into housing on their feet and productive citizens, helps not just the folks that are homeless, but it helps the entire community.”

-Bruce Frankel, DRC Executive Director

“Remember in classic Fort Worth fashion, there isn’t a challenge that we can’t tackle and find an answer to if we work together in a partnership. It’s the right thing to do, but just as importantly, it’s what Fort Worth always does.”

-Mayor Betsy Price

www.drc-solutions.org/

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