Social Services Funders

Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation donates $1M to help end homelessness

Written by Mindia Whittier

North Texas ranks in the top 10 worst metropolitan areas for affordable housing.

The Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation has donated $1 million to Collin County-based Agape Resource & Assistance Center, Inc to develop Jericho Village™, a 38-unit income-based, urban apartment village. The development will be located in Wylie.

Jericho Village will provide economically attainable housing to homeless, women-led families graduating from Agape’s transitional housing program and other households that struggle to stay reliably housed due to the critical lack of affordable housing. Groundbreaking for the community is planned for the fourth quarter of 2022.

“Working with Agape on Jericho Village will help create a long-term solution that specifically benefits women and girls transitioning out of homelessness,” said Kaleta Doolin, founder of the Foundation. “The foundation board feels that Jericho Village is a solution to the large and increasing need in the community.”

Located north of Dallas, Collin County is known for safety, excellent public schools, and general affluence. Yet even before the pandemic, homelessness rates in Collin County were steadily rising annually. The number of Plano ISD children identified as homeless increased fivefold since 2009. Recent statistics also show that there are an estimated 6,500 households living one crisis away from homelessness. Almost 75% of these households are women-led.

Agape currently provides housing and transitional services to homeless single women, moms and their children that empower them to move from homelessness and crisis to fulfilling, self-sustaining lives. More than 85% of Agape women are victims of abuse and violence, some from human trafficking. Agape provides safe, stable housing and transformational services that empower the women to achieve stability. The agency operates eight housing units with 45 beds in East Plano, strategically located near childcare and public transportation.

Agape found that women who launched from its program were often faced with the near-impossible task of finding safe, economically attainable housing in Collin County. According to a 2020 study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Dallas/Fort Worth has only 21 affordable and available homes for every 100 low-income renters. 

Jericho Village will be an inclusive, scaled-rent solution to ending the debilitating lack of economically attainable housing in Collin County. Building on the success of Agape’s transitional housing program, on-site case workers will help Villagers gain convenient access to empowerment support services including equitable access and assistance with childcare, transportation, workforce education and training, financial literacy, budgeting, and counseling. By offering mixed-income rental homes and support services, Jericho Village will provide individuals and families with the tools needed to retain or attain economic, emotional and physical stability.

In March, the City of Wylie approved zoning for the project. Other Jericho Village community stakeholders include First Baptist Church of Wylie and Catholic Charities of Dallas. Agape has the goal to raise an additional $750,000.

“We are honored to have the support of The Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation to help end the cycle of repeat homelessness for women and children,” said Janet Collinsworth, Founder and Executive Director of Agape Resource & Assistance. ”While it’s hard to believe that homelessness exists in an affluent area like Collin County, there are women and children who fall on hard times. With the help from the foundation and others, we are investing in a future where families in need will have a safe and stable home.”

About the author

Mindia Whittier