Driving around after a visit to the farmer’s market last week, I stumbled upon a building that caught my interest. I asked a man on the street what the attractive brick-and-pane-glass complex was, and he told me it was a shelter, called The Bridge. He lived there, and said it was a nice place.
I was caught off-guard for three reasons, the first being that this sleek collection of buildings looked more like a corporate headquarters or a private high school than a shelter. Secondly, this man seemed to be proud of his homeless shelter. That struck me as odd.
Then came my third surprise — the ‘Aha!’ moment. Over Christmas, visiting family in Charleston, SC, my cousin roped me into volunteering with her at a local food shelter there. The buzz around that place, Crisis Ministries, was the upcoming groundbreaking of a new LEED certified center, at a cost of $6 million.
It seemed questionable that a city, especially one in the not-so-rich deep south, would be spending so much money on its homeless population. Any questions I had about the merits of dropping that kind of dime on the needy were alleviated after my discovery of The Bridge in Dallas. (more…)