Dallas TX, where to find homeless or hungry individuals?
August 2, 2012 12:54 PM   Subscribe

Where could I go in Dallas TX this weekend to hand out hot food (ie, not canned good, but food to eat right then) to around 10-20 homeless or hungry individuals?
posted by jesirose to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you mean food you've prepared yourself? Or are you looking to help out in a soup kitchen-type place?
posted by elizardbits at 12:58 PM on August 2, 2012

A few seconds of Googling revealed:

posted by Tanizaki at 1:02 PM on August 2, 2012

Response by poster: Not a soup kitchen, just to individuals.
posted by jesirose at 1:13 PM on August 2, 2012

Individuals will show up at the soup kitchen. I suppose you could leave after you served twenty meals.

I am afraid I do not understand your question well enough to give a constructive answer. If you just want to make twenty sandwiches at home and hand them out to indigent passers-by, I suppose you could do that on any street corner or area where the downtrodden may be found. However, if you wish to distribute hot food, I would advise against doing that yourself because of food safety issues. I would recommend volunteering your time with an established charity kitchen.
posted by Tanizaki at 1:24 PM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: "any street corner or area where the downtrodden may be found." - And examples of those might be? I'm asking if anyone actually familiar with Dallas would know where to go. If you live in an area where you don't see people begging for food or who look like they could use some, where would you go to find them?

I understand that it sounds like an odd request, but I am looking for an answer to that question, rather than a suggestion for a different way to spend the time. :)

Thanks again! :)
posted by jesirose at 1:28 PM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

You can't generally go more than a block or two in Deep Ellum without someone asking for money, especially later in the day when the restaurant happy hours start. Even on weekends, that's been my general experience anywhere downtown.

Just about any park not in a wealthy area will also work.

Just be warned, that sort of thing - home-made food handed out for no obvious reason - will be viewed, rightfully, with some paranoia. Generally if someone specifically asks me for food and I don't have an intact package of something to offer, I will offer to buy them something in a convenience store or a restaurant where we can both assume a certain level of safety and lack of poison/roofies/laxatives. Catering without a license is also a ticketable offense, so you'll want to be careful about how visibly you do this or how long you stay in one place.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:39 PM on August 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

Homeless and poor people also have the right not to eat food of unknown provenance prepared by strangers in uninspected kitchens. Please rethink your idea.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:45 PM on August 2, 2012 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: For the record, I did not say home made food. I said hot food.
Sid, no one would force anyone to eat anything.

I would appreciate if people would focus on the question at hand. If you think it's a bad idea, that's perfectly fine. If you know where specifically in Dallas TX one is apt to run into someone in need of a hot meal, I appreciate you pointing the direction.

Otherwise if the moderators agree the question itself is a problem, then please close it and I'll look to other sources. Thanks.
posted by jesirose at 1:47 PM on August 2, 2012

Mod note: OP, the problem is that your question is unclear. If you can answer some of the specific requests for clarification, please do so, or we can delete this and you can try again next week.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 2:28 PM on August 2, 2012

Response by poster: I thought I did answer them, but I'll do so again.

"Do you mean food you've prepared yourself? Or are you looking to help out in a soup kitchen-type place?"

No, and no.

Those are the only questions I see about my question. I'm not trying to be obtuse, but I really don't see any other requests for clarification. I only see people saying not to do things, especially things which might be dangerous.

The answer to go to Deep Ellum was good, and that's probably enough. The times I've been to Deep Ellum I did not encounter homeless people, but we went during the day. Maybe we just didn't see anyone, who knows.
posted by jesirose at 2:35 PM on August 2, 2012

Your question is unclear because it seems like you're being needlessly mysterious. What is your plan here? You have some hot food, which you haven't prepared yourself (?), and for some reason you don't want to go through established service organizations, or respect limits on self-catering, but you want to target 10-20 vulnerable people for.... a one-time (?) receipt of hot food of mysterious origin?

People have suggested reasons why that apparent plan may not be a great idea.
Homeless people are vulnerable to various kinds of abuse or weirdness. Home-prepared food is vulnerable to various kinds of inadvertent (or advertent) badness; mystery food too.

Maybe everyone is misreading or misunderstanding your plan, in which case you can stop those replies by clarifying a bit about why your plan isn't subject to those objections. (For example, is it extra food prepared in a commercial kitchen, but you don't want to name your employer?)
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:54 PM on August 2, 2012 [5 favorites]

Best answer: The general area around the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Matthews often has homeless people milling about. Depending on your situation, you may even be able to coordinate with the church there. They have quite a number of poor immigrants who attend services on Sunday at 12:30.

I ignorantly wondered around the area once when I visited Dallas. It seemed safe enough, but be sure to stay aware. Apparently the crime rate is quite high: http://www.clrsearch.com/Dallas_Demographics/TX/75206/Crime-Rate
posted by GnomeChompsky at 4:11 PM on August 2, 2012

Best answer: You might want to check the areas around homeless shelters in Dallas.

I volunteer regularly with a group which feeds up to 250 people a night, four nights a week, in a parking lot outside the homeless shelters in a well-known town out West. We bring portable tables and bring plastic plates, forks and cups. We make the food ourselves or buy staples like bread and butter to supplement the main meal. It's safe because it's in a secured parking lot and the guards know why we are there.

Things to know:

People are most often in need of food after the 15th of the month. By then, government assistance has run out for many and they are scraping by, particularly if they are trying to feed a family on $30 a week. (Many people we feed live in motels with no kitchens; some get food at food banks but have no way to cook them.)

Anything portable is most welcome - cheese sticks, bottled water, a wrapped sandwich, hard-boiled eggs, fruit (fresh sliced watermelon is always a huge hit at our feeds).

Nothing hard to eat - nuts, for example, or crusty bread. Nothing spicy.

Good luck and thank you for doing this.
posted by HeyAllie at 4:37 PM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

You will find homeless people around City Hall Plaza at any hour.
posted by Uncle Jimmy at 7:27 AM on August 3, 2012

Best answer: What about the folks that hang around outside any Home Depot looking for day labor? In general, I don't think they are homeless, but they are certainly in an economic level that would appreciate a free hot meal.
posted by CathyG at 7:34 AM on August 3, 2012

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