This story originally appeared in the Star-Telegram
NonProfit leaders have weighed in on the City of Fort Worth’s new anti-panhandling campaign to reduce panhandling and help people out of homelessness. The public education campaign, “A Better Way to Offer Change,” is a joint effort between the City and local businesses and civic organizations, including Downtown Fort Worth, Inc.
“People in Fort Worth … have big hearts, and whenever someone asks for help, we more often than not give them that help,” Andy Taft, President of Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. told the Star-Telegram. “It hurts businesses, it makes people feel unsafe, it damages reputations of locations of stores and cities, and it intimidates people, and all of that is bad.”
The campaign was created in an effort to help crack down on an ordinance that was passed last year forbidding aggressive panhandling. The campaign encourages people who would give money to panhandlers to instead donate that money to the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition, who will use the money to to help people pay housing application fees and security deposits, buy a bus ticket or motel vouchers for stranded people, and mattresses.
“It’s a good plan, frankly. I’m in support of it,” Presbyterian Night Shelter’s CEO, Toby Owen, told the Star-Telegram.
District 9 Councilwoman Ann Zadeh told the Star-Telegram: “Having this solution, telling (donors) something they can do to be helpful, is a positive way to go about it.”
Donations can be made by texting “FWCHANGE” to 41444.
ABOUT TARRANT COUNTY HOMELESS COALITION
TCHC leads, coordinates and develops strategies and resources to end homelessness.
TCHC serves as the HUD recognized lead agency for the Fort Worth/Arlington/Tarrant County Continuum of Care (CoC)TX 601 responsible for the operations of the CoC pursuant to the Code of Federal Regulations 24 CFR part 578.1. The geographical area covered by the CoC is Tarrant and Parker County. TCHC is appointed by the Continuum of Care Board to serve as the Collaborative Applicant for the CoC Program Grant. TCHC is also the HMIS Administrator for the CoC. Find out more on the organization’s website.