CitySquare began as a small neighborhood food pantry and transformed into the most comprehensive and effective poverty-fighting organization in Dallas. In 2020 we had to quickly pivot and respond to the devastating pandemic, but your displays of generosity showed our city the power of community. Join us as we celebrate the transformative power of love when we come together as a community to fight the causes and effects of poverty.
2020 IN REVIEW
CITYSQUARE PRESIDENT/CEO JOHN SIBURT
CitySquare has changed quite a bit since 1988. What began as a small neighborhood food pantry transformed into the most comprehensive and effective poverty-fighting organization in Dallas. Our neighbors fueled our growth, teaching us how to address the needs of health, hunger, housing, and hope as a community rooted in values of faith, justice, and stewardship. They show us daily how the power of love can transform not only individual hearts, minds, and attitudes—but also communal systems, institutions, and economies.
It was the power of love that enabled CitySquare to quickly pivot our work in 2020 to respond to the devastating impact of a global pandemic. We adapted our programs to respond to the physical, emotional, and economic destruction caused by Covid-19. Your generosity and unwavering support sustained us in the fight and showed our city the power of community.
The 2020 Annual Report highlights the amazing changes we made in responding to an unexpected crisis. Even more, it celebrates the transformation that occurs in the lives of our neighbors, staff, and donors when we come together as a community. CitySquare changes lives, restores relationships, and helps neighbors reclaim a future filled with hope. We can't stop our work—and because of you, we won't stop.
Your friend in the fight,
When Covid-19 closed our schools, CitySquare's Summer Food Program launched early.
Our Financial Empowerment Program provided emergency funds to 580 neighbors.
We served neighbors from 40% more ZIP codes, extending across 79 counties.
More than $4.5 million in healthy groceries distributed to our neighbors in 2020.
LARRY JAMES WON'T STOP
When Larry James joined CitySquare in 1988, we were a store-front food pantry in East Dallas. Throughout his 26 years serving our city, the core of Larry's mission, and ours, has been to fight the causes and effects of poverty. As Larry takes on his new CEO Emeritus role, he leaves a legacy of hope that will live beyond him. READ MORE
CityWalk opens in 2010, creating a vertical, mixed-income neighborhood in the heart of Downtown Dallas.
The CitySquare Opportunity Center opens in 2015 to better meet our neighbors' needs with many services provided under one roof.
Big little ideas
Set against the Dallas skyline, The Cottages at Hickory Crossing open in 2016, establishing Tiny Homes for unsheltered neighbors.
A WAY HOME
When Deborah heard the words "chronically homeless" applied to her, it hurt. She had a college degree, was an only child raised in a stable family, and married her college boyfriend. Two children would quickly follow. On paper, Deborah had everything. But after enduring domestic abuse, divorce, a house fire, and a tragic car accident, she found herself on a cot at the Salvation Army, without any options.
"I believed God would allow someone to see my name on the housing list and know I needed a home," said Deborah. "Ten days later, I received the call from CitySquare inviting me to apply to the A Way Home program." READ MORE
DIRECTOR OF IMPACT
HIGHLAND PARK UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Lisa joined the CitySquare Board of Directors in 2015 as a partner in addressing the root causes of poverty and homelessness. She oversees 22 local partnerships in her work at HPUMC.
“Dallas is a divided city geographically and economically,” Lisa said. “We have the opportunity to change that. Our partnership with CitySquare has helped us better understand the difference between charity and fighting poverty.”
Thanks to this partnership, many of their congregants live out their faith by volunteering at CitySquare. Lisa has seen individuals change their career path to be part of the solution full-time.
“We believe God doesn’t want anyone to live in poverty,” Lisa said. “A safe home is the foundation to get all areas of your life in order – to sleep, provide for your family, and as a secure place to rise out of poverty.”
home sweet home
946 CitySquare neighbors housed in 2020.
putting down roots
95% of our neighbors maintained their housing for six or more months.
854 neighbors served by our Homeless Outreach Team, with 185 housed or placed on the housing priority list.
412 CitySquare housed neighbors are receiving
case management services.
SOBRIETY & HEALTH
Arthur spent his 21st birthday in state prison. It wasn't where he thought he'd be. When Arthur got out, he moved in with a friend, got a stable job, and eventually married and had two children. In his 30s, Arthur began abusing marijuana, which led to harder drugs. His wife left him and took the kids. Arthur fell apart—descending further into addiction. This led to a repetitive cycle of finding a job or a place to live, only to get fired or evicted due to his harmful lifestyle.
Finally, he had enough.
"I finally checked myself into rehab," Arthur said. "There's no future when you're doing drugs."
DANIELA NOURISHES BODY & SOUL
At age 15, Daniela's parents sent her from Yucatan, Mexico to the U.S. to live with her older sister. Like most teenagers, she had dreams of a brighter future. But her plans changed when she became pregnant. Her husband began physically abusing her after their second child was born, and Daniela found the courage to leave him.
"It was hard to leave my marriage and be alone at the shelter, with no job and two kids," said Daniela. "I knew it wouldn't be easy to be a single mom, but I wanted to support my children and given them a safe home. Thankfully, God gave me the strength I needed." READ MORE
get well soon
1,245 neighbors served by the CitySquare Community Clinic.
WHAT'S UP, DOC?
78% of our neighbors who access our clinic, maintained their medical home
putting down roots
92% of CityWalk neighbors maintain housing for a year or longer.
Dr. Christopher Crow grew up in Hillsboro and saw firsthand how small-town doctors took care of their community. Dr. Crow wanted to bring this level of care to North Texas.
"The doctors I grew up with understood we're only as healthy and well as all of us," said Dr. Crow. "I like the proactive approach CitySquare has taken to co-locate needed community services – healthcare, housing, and food. It's important to connect all the areas of need that come from poverty."
Dr. Crow partnered with the Community Life Team at CityWalk@Akard to start a mini-pilot program. He added a pharmacist and psychiatrist to the team's mental health services, provided Covid testing, and explored how Medicaid can work for our newly housed neighbors.
"I believe a life well-lived leaves the world better than you found it," Dr. Crow stated." For me, affordable, multi-pronged healthcare is more than a business. It is the lives of our patients."
DR. CHRISTOPHER CROW
CEO, CATALYST HEALTH NETWORK
SR. VICE PRESIDENT COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
TEXAS CAPITAL BANK
“I grew up in Oak Cliff, and my wife and I are raising our family here,” said J.J. “Growing up, my family struggled, and education was key to changing our course. Now in my role at Texas Capital Bank, I can help others as serving our community is ingrained in what we do.”
J.J. was a Leadership Dallas 2020 cohort member, along with John Siburt, our CEO and President. The class chose to renovate the CitySquare Food Pantry as their community project, and J.J. led the fundraising committee.
“We met with staff and volunteers to really listen to their ideas and experiences as we wanted to ensure changes made allowed them to serve our neighbors better,” J.J. stated. “Our goals were to enhance the dignified shopping experience, shorten the wait time, increase those served by 20-percent, and reduce food waste.”
fill the fridge
2.8 million pounds of food distributed to 13,209 neighbors through the Food Pantry.
bridging the budget gap
90% of those accessing the Food Pantry can use income to meet other essential needs.
22,105 healthy Food Recovery meals were created, from 29,586 pounds of recovered food.
9,740 children given 502,629 meals in after-school and summer food programs, with meals delivered directly to apartments and libraries.
HOPE IS NO ILLUSION
Terry never planned to be homeless, but the vicious cycle of drug use ultimately left him without a safe place to live. Making a home behind a garbage bay, Terry slept through the day and performed as a street magician at night. The tempting smell of barbecue drew him to the CitySquare Opportunity Center one afternoon, and his life began to change.
"I met Larry James. He invited me to eat, watched my card tricks, and told me I was talented," said Terry. "Larry told me he would help me get housing. And he did."
ASHLEY BRUNDAGE, MSSW
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF HOUSING STABILITY
SR VP, COMMUNITY IMPACT
UNITED WAY DALLAS
“None of us know what the new normal will be,” said Ashley. “One thing we can agree on is we need hope to move forward, not to get back to normal, but to reimagine what our future can be post-Covid. Our community needs to know there is hope.”
Ashley was vital in forming the Dallas Rental Assistance Collaborative (DRAC), Dallas’ collective solution to helping families impacted by the pandemic with short-term, emergency assistance for rent, mortgage, utilities, and food. Her strong relationships with city employees led to the program’s rapid launch. DRAC has grown to 12 participating organizations, including CitySquare, and in 2020 distributed $4.5 million in rental assistance to 1,800 households
“I love how collaborative folks in our community are and how many are willing to help,” Ashley added. “I’ve always felt personally compelled to give back; it’s who I am. I’m fortunate I can give back in my profession.”
$1,000 provides two months of housing for a disabled, formerly homeless neighbor. » GIVE NOW
1,488 youth were served through TRAC, with 465 receiving case management.
ready for life
97 TRAC youth completed the PAL Life Skills program.
service and friendship
261 CitySquare AmeriCorps members served 109,044 hours.
Beginning in June 2020, more than $760,000 was distributed to help neighbors in crisis pay rent, mortgages, and utilities.
SERVING OUR NEIGHBORS
INDIVIDUAL & GROUP
SUPPORTING OUR CAUSE
More than 80 cents of every dollar raised directly supports our neighbors on their path to self-sufficiency.
Our fundraising expenses are well below the national average as our generous donors continue to support our work.
VOLUNTEER, DONOR, FRIEND
In the late ‘80s, Bruce and his wife, Lynn, moved to Dallas and found a welcoming community. Their first home was around the corner from Richardson East Church of Christ, where Larry James was a senior minister. They began supporting the church’s food pantry, and over the years, stayed connected with Larry as he moved to serve at the Central Dallas Food Pantry, which eventually became CitySquare.
“I’ve found people in Dallas to be incredibly generous,” said Bruce. “We have been very blessed and try to share those blessings. We lived for four years in Yemen and witnessed extreme poverty, which made us more committed to helping others.”
Bruce recently retired from Hunt Oil Company, where the team was encouraged to volunteer and give back to the community. He led many team members to CitySquare for volunteer opportunities and shared its mission with those interested. These team members encouraged others to volunteer, with one employee enlisting their boy scout troop.
“When we understood how much need there is and saw it firsthand, we wanted to help,” added Bruce. “And will continue to do so. CitySquare’s mission resonates strongly for us."