Dallas is the epicenter for the national tranformation movement. Historically Dallas has been the ground zero for significant social movements that have been both positive and negative. Randy Skinner is passionate about helping Dallas lead the way in the next great positive cultrual transformation.
Crime continues to decline in Dallas and in our targeted community of West Dallas. To see an interactive map of where West Dallas was removed from the “crime hot spots” of Dallas CLICK HERE.
To see current statistics for overall crime in Dallas dropping, CLICK HERE.
Our Social Transformation model is founded in 2005 in the West Dallas Faith Based Weed and Seed Program under the direction of Melva Franklin. West Dallas Weed and Seed is a national initiative of the US Department of Justice. It is one of 300 sites throughout the nation and one of 7 sites in the Dallas/ Ft. Worth metroplex. Weed and seed sites are community based but funded by and accountable to US Department of Justice. The West Dallas site reports directly to the US Attorney General of the Northern District of Texas. Partnering with Dallas Police Department, other community based organizations and residents, its purpose is to reduce or eliminate crime and improve the quality of life for residents in specifically designated areas.
In 2008, the West Dallas Weed and Seed became a graduated site and model for the City of Dallas to eradicate crime.
The West Dallas site is faith based and intends to meet these objectives by leveraging our resources and creating sustainable transformation of this severely blighted community.
Strategies to confront challenges:
To address this issue over the past 3 years (by 2008) we have leveraged our W&S funding to conduct more than 150 police operations targeting drug users and sellers. In so doing we have seen 3 times as many drug arrests in the area when compared to 2003. We developed a relationship and plan of action with the Dallas County District Attorney’s office to flag nuisance offenders to try to insure that once arrested they remain incarcerated through adjudication.
Results of efforts and collaboration:
Impact on Community
West Dallas Weed and Seed has lead several very significant projects and involvements, including a commissioned land use survey of every residential and commercial properties in West Dallas (75212 zip code) conducted by UT Dallas; bi-annual pastor’s prayer breakfasts; Quarterly community crime watch meetings, an annual community-wide clean-up; the Bless West event, intended to celebrate West Dallas, positively promote the community and increase resident involvement; collaborate to re-implement and support the DPD Police Athletic League; on-going door -to- door Quality of Life Survey conducted in collaboration with the Dallas Police Department Southwest Division and the office of the Assistant City Manager; a 7-day house building blitz conducted in collaboration with Builders of Hope CDC and Dallas Habitat for Humanities; and, we collaborated with Builders of Hope, Rep. Eddie B Johnson, the University of Texas – Austin Law Clinic and others on a vacant and abandoned properties summit and follow-up workshop.
Bless West was designed to mobilize residents and to stimulate increased general concern for their community. We conducted a prayer Breakfast which the Mayor attended; and a prayer walk, we landscaped and painted the only high school in the area; gave away 400 backpacks and school supplies, conducted several sports clinics and co-sponsored a gospel concert in the park. We engaged nearly 400 volunteers, helped stimulate renewed pride in Pinkston High School and its students.
We conducted 3 community wide clean-up events to mobilize residents with more than 300 volunteers (more than half local residents) at each event, 3 prayer breakfasts and 3 Quarterly Crime watch meetings. Each of these activities has generated increasing numbers of residents participating. We have also organized at least 5 new crime watch groups, sent 5 residents to the DPD citizen’s police academy and we have had approximately 15 residents express interest and begin training to becoming volunteers in patrol.
The PALs project was re- implemented in West Dallas with leveraged funds from West Dallas Weed and Seed and has since expanded to other parts of the city reaching 100’s of children and youth between ages 7 and 18. Our West Dallas Weed and Seed site and PALs partnership was featured and commended by the US Department of Justice, CCDO National Director at the June 2008 Police Athletic League conference. Our West Dallas Weed and Seed site and our DPD police coordinator Sheldon Smith were acknowledged, honored and congratulated by Mr. Greenhouse in his presentation during that conference.
In the early spring of 2008 West Dallas Weed and Seed and Dallas Police Department collaborated to conduct a door-to-door crime and quality of life survey. We visited 600 addresses and received responses from over 200 residents. Phase I results revealed several residents priorities, most specifically elimination of drugs users and drug locations, vicious stray and loose dogs, traffic control and the elimination of abandoned and dilapidated houses and vacant properties. This past summer services were organized by DPD Assistant Chief R. Watson to address these concerns. Phases 2 and 3 were being implemented in early 2009.
After our land use survey revealed nearly 48% of the residential property in West Dallas is either vacant or abandoned and as over the past 3 years we have learned more of the underlying this issues, we are supporting development of policy recommendations to affect systemic change in these contributing factors negatively impacting the lives of West Dallas residents and the economic viability of the area.
The West Dallas Weed and Seed broadly stated goals for this year are to continue advocating, collaborating, developing and implementing appropriate alternatives to eliminate vacant lots and abandoned houses; continue supporting specifically targeted police operations to address drug related crimes and burglaries; mobilize residents to address crime and quality of life issues; and, to create and promote economic growth and development in West Dallas.
COMMUNITY IMPACT Coordinated Collaborative Buyout of Hundreds of Drug Properties