Dallas homeless center recognized for excellence
In May, The Bridge Homeless Assistance Center in Dallas received the 2011 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Gold Medal from the Cambridge, Mass.-based Bruner Foundation. The biennial award that carries a $50,000 prize honors urban places that, through their design and development, have lasting effects on their urban neighborhoods and communities.
Managed by the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance (MDHA), The Bridge is a multi-purpose facility located on the edge of downtown Dallas that opened in 2008 primarily to serve the chronically homeless. Nineteen MDHA organizations provide services at The Bridge, working toward the goal of eliminating chronic homelessness in Dallas in 10 years. Funds for the land purchase and building construction were generated through a $23.8 million city bond program passed in 2005. Since the facility opened in May 2008, the crime rate in the surrounding area has decreased by 23 percent, and chronic homelessness has been reduced from more than 6,000 to less than 150.
The LEED Silver-certified facility includes sleeping, dining and multipurpose areas with abundant natural light and integrated artwork. Overland Partners Architects of San Antonio designed the center, along with locally based CamargoCopeland Architects. For more information about the Rudy Bruner Award, visit www.brunerfoundation.org, and for more about The Bridge, visit www.mdhadallas.org/the_bridge.aspx.