Dallas is home to some of the best architecture in the world. Buildings designed by award-winning architects fill the downtown skyline. It is also home to the National Historic Landmark, Fair Park, which contains the nation’s largest collection of 1930s art deco exposition-style architecture. It has a historic district and an arts district, and it has architecturally significant private homes.
Dallas also has a significant homeless population, who may enjoy the view from their home on the street, but for their health and safety would be better off living inside.
We who enjoy the view and a roof over our heads can help. Paid walking tours of the arts district, historic district, Fair Park, and homes deemed architecturally significant by the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) could be conducted to raise money for homeless shelters in Dallas. By reserving a $35 ticket, you help build a case to stakeholders that these tours are feasible and will raise sufficient money to make this enterprise worthwhile.
As of April 10, 2010, some 5,700 people were reported homeless in Dallas. The current number of Dallas homeless shelters is insufficient to provide shelter for all people who need it. Raising $X for these shelters would allow them to purchase additional space, furnishings, and provisions, and to hire additional professional staff to assist in finding jobs, training, medical care, and mental health services.
The Dallas Center for Architecture gives paid walking tours twice a month. Preservation Dallas gives free guided tours five days a week. National Geographic provides a map for self-guided tours of Fair Park. The AIA Dallas chapter hosts an annual self-guided tour of homes. Each organization could contribute staffing and other resources to assist with the fund-raising tour.
The proposed $35 ticket fee would cover light refreshments (bottled water, fruit, and chips) for walkers, who would be responsible for taking their own transportation to the tour site. All remaining proceeds ($30 per ticket) would go to Dallas-area homeless shelters. An incomplete list includes:
- Family Gateway
- Dallas Life Foundation
- Gideon House
- The Ark of Safety
- Soul’s Harbor
- The Bridge
- Genesis Women’s Shelter
Tour dates and details for advertising, staffing, and provisioning are to be determined.