Act exists to make neighborhood safety a normal reality for everyone. To do this, Act equips residents to fight crime on their street using the civil justice system. Act's model pursues justice for these families who live in close proximity to high-crime properties by building trust with them and pairing them with top-rated law firms to hold the owners of these properties accountable for the criminal activity. The goal of Act's model is to see safer, more peaceful neighborhoods, but crime reduction is only a piece of a community's transformation. We equip residents to become guardians of their communities to ensure long-term flourishing.
Exposure to community violence can have life-long effects on a child's development, and Act has spent the last decade empowering families to remove these sources of their children's trauma. Improved safety also enables partner organizations to more effectively reach residents and work to address other systemic issues in their communities.
Crucial to our model are our partnerships with local neighborhood associations, churches, and nonprofits, as well as the Dallas Police Department, City Attorney's Office, and Code Compliance. Founded in 2009, Act is entering its second decade of impact with a newly adapted-for-scaling model that will expand our mission across the City of Dallas.
Since 2009, Act has empowered over 370 residents to shut down 225+ high-crime properties across West Dallas, South Dallas, South Oak Cliff, Pleasant Grove, and now Fort Worth. The West Dallas neighborhoods where Act began in 2009 experienced up to a 50% crime reduction.
To our knowledge, no other organization nationwide uses our community organizing and advocacy model. Act's vision is rooted in the understanding that for true peace to occur, we must seek the restoration of hope and peace alongside our clients and within their communities:
- Our clients' children witness the transformation of their parents as they switch from survival mode to action - and the impact is catalytic. In the words of one South Dallas client, "I do what I do so that my children can see that if you stand up for something, things can change."
- Clients receive the tools and education to independently maintain their neighborhood's safety.
The power of Act's model is that we can engage a few catalytic residents to transform an entire community. For every high-crime property we resolve, we approximate that up to 2,000 residents in that community experience some level of relief.
Act seeks to educate neighbors about their rights, mobilize them into groups, and empower them to seek change together. Volunteer attorneys relentlessly pursue justice for these residents, holding owners of drug houses and other crime-ridden properties accountable.
We need men and women to come alongside us who are eager to stand for justice and see transformation in our city. Donors and volunteers (both legal and non-legal) are a huge part of our efforts to restrict crime and restore hope.
Together, we are transforming our city - street by street, block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood.