Under 1 Roof Dallas

Under 1 Roof founders, Verna L. Jones and Vanessa L. Ousley found each other while working at another nonprofit organization. Each had a passion for helping those in need obtain access to housing. Ms. Jones, a social worker, was working tirelessly to secure housing for homeless individuals and families due to various reasons (i.e., fleeing domestic violence, loss of income) for twelve years, while Mrs. Ousley, an attorney, was fighting zealously for the rights of participants facing legal housing concerns. When their paths crossed, a natural partnership was formed that took advocacy for housing to a new level.

In 2011, Ms. Jones and Mrs. Ousley decided to create a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting individuals/families with housing problems. Ms. Jones, armed with a Masters of Social Work, serves as the Executive Director for Under 1 Roof. She oversees all strategic planning, grant applications and agency staff to maintain smooth functioning of all operational process. Mrs. Ousley, a ten year veteran of the legal field, serves as the Director of Legal Services and develops and institutes all legal programs and coordinates the representation of program participants.

Our Mission, Our Promise:

In order to assist persons to become self-reliant, Under 1 Roof provides transitional, permanent supportive housing and other services to homeless and low-income individuals as well as families of our community. Our vision is a community where everyone has safe affordable housing and the tools to become self-reliant. To bring that vision into reality, we will provide permanent supportive housing to the homeless population in Dallas & Collin Counties.

WHY?
At Under 1 Roof we lead with WHY. We are committed to ending homelessness one family at a time through services, collaborations and community support. We work to move closer to eliminating the WHY for many homeless individuals and families with children.

Recent accomplishments:

  • Provided housing for 400 households in our permanent supportive housing program since 2011
  • Created Social Services Department to provide mortgage, rent and utility assistance with FEMA funds
  • Created partnerships to enhance program services
  • Obtain funds from various foundations to support agency programs
  • Obtained 50 additional housing units through partnership with DHA & Mandalay Palms Apt Community
  • Established partnerships with local universities to provide social work internship opportunities
  • Established 100% contributing Board or Directors 
  • Successful Fundraising Events

The concept of providing services to the homeless in Dallas/Collin County began in 2010 when Verna Jones and Vanessa Ousley, were motivated to provide services to assist homeless individuals, families and children. Since then, Under1 Roof has expanded its services too include: career counseling, educational tutoring for adults and children, legal counseling, financial management skill, and life-skills mentoring all of these services are taught by our volunteers.

As a non-profit organization, Under 1 Roof strives to: Inspire and affect change by advocating for homeless families. Provide services and opportunities that connect families to a better future. Collaborate with faith-based partners, partner agencies, community action groups and businesses to leverage resources and create long-term solutions. Lead by example through innovative program and grassroots involvement.

For many Americans, the word “homeless” evokes a mental image of a single male with some type of substance abuse or mental health problem loitering in a public place. This is the image of the invisible homeless. In reality, the picture of homelessness in America today is a family portrait. Under 1 Roof serves the homeless family- the “invisible” homeless. Typically, this is a single parent with children in school that are bouncing from home-to-home of family and friends.

Two trends largely responsible for the rise in family homelessness over the past several years:

  • A growing shortage of affordable rental housing
  • A simultaneous increase in poverty.
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