Community Partners of Dallas (“CPD”) was established in 1989 by a committed group of Dallas County individuals. Today, the organization’s mission is to ensure safety, restore dignity and inspire hope for the abused and neglected children served by Dallas County Protective Services. Community Partners of Dallas’ programs have been replicated across the state, and exist in more than 155 cities in Texas.
Community Partners of Dallas served more than 20,000 children in 2016, through five unique programs:
- Rainbow Room – The Rainbow Room is an emergency resource center that provides critically-needed items for children such as clothing, shoes, beds, car seats, formula, diapers, cleaning supplies, hygiene items and birthday presents. The Rainbow Room has served more than 168,000 children since it opened in 1993.
- Kids in Crisis – Kids in Crisis provides emergency funds for transportation, housing, enrichment activities, clothing, therapy, and medical expenses for children in relative care or in their own homes. Kids in Crisis serves more than 4,500 of Dallas County’s abused and neglected children annually.
- Caseworker Appreciation – Caseworker Appreciation includes quarterly events to show appreciation and gratitude to the staff of Child Protective Services. Past events include catered lunches, cookouts, ice cream socials, catered breakfasts and cupcake distributions. Sponsored by Community Partners of Dallas board members, members of CPD’s women’s auxiliary and volunteers.
- The Heart Program – The Heart Program is an internationally-recognized program that provides therapeutic group treatment to child sexual-abuse victims and their non-offending family members. Victims of sexual abuse and their non-offending family members meet weekly for group therapy. Victims are encouraged to participate as long as the therapy is beneficial. Dinner is donated by groups, including Tolleson, Sammons, Love of Humanity, Hunt Oil, and National Charity League.
- Storyline (214) 446-2222 – Launched in 2006, Storyline is a phone line that children can call 24 hours a day to hear four different stories. More than 400 children call in per month to listen to a story. The stories change weekly, and are read by volunteers and local celebrities.
Among the 25,864 reports of child abuse and neglect in Dallas County last year, 6,242 cases were confirmed – up 38% from the prior year. Child Protective Services of the Department of Family and Protective Services investigates allegations and removes a child from their parent’s home if they determine the risk to their safety has reached a threatening level. Children entering the system of protective care often have only the clothes on their backs when removed from their homes. More than 79% of the children CPD serves live in families with annual incomes of less than $30,000. There are simply not enough resources between the state and these families to take care of the children’s needs.
Community Partners of Dallas had outgrown its space in the Meadows Foundation’s Wilson Historic District. Over the past 29 years, the number of children who are confirmed victims of child abuse and neglect in Dallas County has increased by 64% and the number of reports has grown 231% during the same period. Child Protective Services is downsizing its facilities and has transitioned their caseworkers to working as mobile employees.
CPD’s client base has grown in direct proportion to Child Protective Services’: in 1989, CPD served 3,500 children annually and today that number has grown to more than 20,000. In response both to the growing need for a physical space to support caseworkers and the ever-growing population of children in their care, CPD has developed a plan to construct a more child-friendly space that is large enough to house its operations into the future.
The new facility provides extra space for CPD’s successful school supply, coat, and Easter drives, expand space for caseworkers, allow CPD to utilize 10,000+ square feet of Rainbow Room and Warehouse space, and provide offices for 2-3 partner agencies who will lease space from Community Partners of Dallas. The new 6,000 SF Night Response space has a small break room, a play area, visit rooms and a nursery, showers and bath facilities, a TV gaming and lounge area for older kids, as well as a laundry and other services. Child Protective Services was a tenant., with 24 employees housed on site for overnight, state holidays, and weekend work (4:00 pm until 8:00 am Monday-Friday and 24 hours on weekends and holidays).
The new facility on Elmbrook also have approximately 10,000 square feet of space designated for other charitable agencies to lease at low market rates. This Collaborative Space will likely be leased to 2-3 non-profit partners, providing them with office space, a break room, and a conference room. CPD has had early discussions with groups such as Tex-Protects, Children’s Health, and others, and will turn its attention to finalizing these partnership arrangements once the facility is secured.
In June of 2018, CPD hired Crescent to pursue NMTCs in conjunction with its overall financing plan for the new headquarters. Crescent worked to secure an investor commitment along with Federal NMTC allocation. In October of 2018, Crescent and CPD closed on $7.0M of Federal NMTCs provided by Dallas Development Fund, leveraging a NMTC equity investment made by US Bank.
The NMTC subsidy helped CPD close its capital campaign gap, providing the organization with low-cost financing to complete a new headquarters that provides a host of services that directly and indirectly address the needs of the most needy, at-risk children in Dallas, all in an environment that will promote the crucial sense of safety and security that these children need during one of the most traumatizing periods in their lives.