Cynthia Vega and Rebecca Lopez, WFAA (Dallas), July 14, 2011
At least eight people were hurt Thursday morning while scrambling to line up for a limited number of Dallas County rental vouchers–after waiting for hours in their cars.
People lined up Thursday morning to apply for Dallas County Section 8 housing vouchers. Dallas County sheriff’s spokesman Kim Leach estimated the crowd at about 5,000.
The office at the Jesse Owens Memorial Complex wasn’t supposed to open until 8 a.m., but some applicants started lining up at 10 o’clock Wednesday night.
Doors were opened early.
Hundreds of people rushed the line, causing moments of unruliness.
“I started running and I slipped and fell,” said applicant Jordan Spivey, who suffered cuts and scrapes as she was caught up in the crowd. But she said she feels lucky that she wasn’t trampled.
“It was a madhouse,” said applicant Ada McKinsey, who was injured as the crowd closed in around the door. “People pushing, fighting.”
But authorities eventually gained control.
Seven people were treated by paramedics. None were taken to the hospital.
Health officials said they processed 4,000 to 5,000 applicants on Thursday morning, adding that as many as 15,000 could ask to be put on a list with only 3,800 vouchers available over the next few years.