Illegal Solicitation Deflection
The Office of Homeless Solutions led the conception and implementation of a revised Illegal Solicitation Deflection Initiative approved by the Dallas City Council Government Financial and Performance Management (GPFM) Committee, in October of 2021. This initiative was adopted as a six-month pilot program in partnership with the City Attorney’s Office, the Office of Integrated Public Safety Solutions Crisis Intervention Team- Right Care, the Data Analytics and Business Intelligence Department, Code Compliance Services, the Communications, Outreach, and Marketing Department, the Transportation Department, Community Courts, and the City Marshals. The program has since been approved by the GPFM to continue until further notice.
Since its implementation, the initiative has brought awareness to the community through signage at nine major locations across the City, which is informed by 311 and 911 data, and a sustainable giving campaign. These signs bring awareness of the most impactful way in which to help and directs individuals to partners with established organizations for a larger impact.
This initiative includes the implementation of an internal database for all relevant departments to collectively share data on the needs of those they encounter via 311 service requests. This information also allows the initiative to resolve illegal solicitation via several different pathways.
How It Works
Simply put, 311 service requests work.
Strategically placed signage displaying the 311 hotline has led to a decrease in illegal solicitation incidents. Areas in the City with increased calls to the hotline have received more attention from the City and has brought resources to the streets to help those in need.
Instead of punishing the homeless community, the 311 hotline provides a list of services and renders aid to help those in need overcome or alleviate their houseless status.
Here’s how initiative is effective:
- Signage around communities displaying the 311 number gives citizens a clear direction on what to do in a illegal solicitation incident.
- Team members of Outreach and Right Care can then reach out to the individual engaged in illegal solicitation and give them tools, resources, and information on how to help alleviate their situation.
- It allows team members to identify solicitors or locales with prolific incidences of illegal solicitation to then create reports on communities with the highest illegal solicitation rates, and to identify individuals who may be in need. This data helps the City understand what resources are further needed to alleviate the issue of illegal solicitation as it is related to homelessness.
Know Where Your Money Goes
Giving to established organizations helps to make a greater difference in the lives of those who need support the most. By giving your money or food to those who solicit on street corners, you inadvertently perpetuate their issues. Be a part of the solution by knowing where your money can make the biggest impact.