Logan Ferguson, Austin Street Center’s Veterans Case Manager, received the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance (MDHA) Case Manager of the Year 2019 Award.
“As a case manager, it’s my job to empower our clients and provide the resources, but it’s up to them to make things happen,” said Logan. “It makes me proud when they are able to realize their full potential and work to end their homelessness.”
Logan has been a team member at Austin Street Center for three years. In addition to his commitment to clients, Logan also has a passion for networking and community leadership.
“When faced with a problem as big as homelessness, we can choose to feel powerless and overwhelmed, or we can believe we are part of something bigger and work together,” said Logan.
He meets weekly with Veterans Affairs when they are on campus to visit with clients, in addition to his work on the Veterans By-Name List (BNL) Committee. Logan also led Austin Street’s efforts in the 2019 Veterans Challenge, meeting multiple times with MDHA staff. His efforts resulted in a dozen clients being housed within the 90-day challenge.
“Logan has been a constant encouraging presence on our team,” said Dustin Perkins, Director of Client Services. “It has been reported that our community partners see Logan as the most consistent attendee of the BNL Committee, delivering an engaged and helpful presence multiple times monthly. He also volunteered to become the housing priority list expert at Austin Street Center, despite an already heavy load of demands in attending additional community meetings.”
This is the third year in a row that an Austin Street case manager has won the MDHA Case Manager of the Year Award.
The new Dallas Connector Project launched in October 2019 to provide free and regularly scheduled transportation to individuals experiencing homelessness. This project ensures that clients are able to easily access services to secure healthcare, employment, and housing.
In addition to a grant assistance from the City of Dallas, the Dallas Connector Project is a collaboration between CitySquare, Austin Street Center, Our Calling, The Stewpot/First Presbyterian Church-Dallas, and The Salvation Army. The project also has the support of The Bridge Homeless Outreach Center, and Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance.
“We are proud to be part of the Dallas Connector Project,” said Daniel Roby, CEO of Austin Street Center. “Lack of affordable public transportation is a long-standing problem for the homeless. Many commute by walking from one agency to another, often traveling five miles or more daily; however, this is especially challenging or impossible for those who are physically disabled, medically ill, or have mental health and/or cognitive issues. Reliable and free transportation will end people’s homelessness sooner, as they will be able to access services much faster.”
The Dallas Connector Project will kick off its services with a 25-passenger bus and a 15-passenger van, and selected service facilities on the Connector route will post and distribute schedules with all materials in both English and Spanish to their clients.
For individuals experiencing homelessness, getting a professional haircut is not a priority, and most often not a possibility.
“Haircuts for the Homeless,” a monthly event at Austin Street Center, is a collaborative partnership with The Gents Place, a prestigious men’s hair salon, and Sincerely You, an independent nonprofit which advocates for equal rights and treatment for people experiencing homelessness.
Such a small gesture as a haircut makes a huge impact on Austin Street Center’s clients, further boosting self-esteem and hope for a better life in a world where they often feel invisible.
“Since I’ve been homeless, some people look at me different, but I want to leave the impression that I’m still a good person, capable of being everything I was before,” said Clay after a recent haircut.
In just a little over a year, this event has provided more than 1,000 haircuts and shaves with 100% client satisfaction.
“What I love about this monthly event is that it is the community coming in and circling around our clients and giving them more than a haircut,” said Dustin Perkins, Director of Client Services at Austin Street Center. “The volunteers are also giving a smile, warmth, dignity, love, kindness, and acceptance without judgment.”