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Homelessness increasing in Fort Worth area, count shows

Posted March 3, 2016

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homeless person against a wall

On the night of Jan. 28, more than 400 volunteers and about 100 members of law enforcement canvassed Tarrant and Parker counties to count the homeless population.

Their results showed there are 1,985 people experiencing homelessness, an increase of 71 people, or 3.7 percent. The homeless population continues to shrink as a percentage of the overall population and remains below 1 percent.

While homelessness on the western side of the Metroplex continues to be concentrated in Fort Worth, increases were identified this year in both Arlington and Parker County. Totals for 2016:

  • Fort Worth, 1,846, up 24 percent.
  • Arlington, 346, up 24 percent.
  • Parker County, 6, up 500 percent.
  • Northeast Tarrant, 113, down 24 percent.

The people enumerated on Count Night were predominately single (76 percent) and male (65 percent). While a majority were between the ages of 25 and 64, nearly a quarter were under 18.

The homeless population continues to be disproportionate to the overall population of Tarrant and Parker counties in terms of both race and ethnicity. For example, African-Americans make up 15 percent of the Tarrant County population, but 53 percent of the homeless population. Hispanics account for 27 percent of the Tarrant population, but 8 percent of the homeless community.

During the point-in-time count, 408 people were sleeping in places not intended for human habitation, an increase of 88 percent over the 2015 count. Partial explanations for the increase could include unseasonably warm weather on Count Night, improved reconnaissance and a dip in the number of people staying in emergency shelters.

Reasons people become homeless are many. This year, the three most often cited reasons among homeless men are:

  • Unemployment.
  • Inability to afford rent.
  • Addictions/substance abuse.

Among women:

  • Inability to afford rent.
  • Unemployment.
  • Family/personal illness.

View the full report online.

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Fort Worth Transportation Authority Board of Directors: 3:30 p.m. Jan. 23, 2017; Community Room, 2nd Floor, Intermodal Transportation Center (ITC), 1001 Jones Street.
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City of Fort Worth Art Commission : 5:30 p.m. Jan. 23, 2017; Room 201AB, Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, 818 Missouri Avenue.
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Bridge Street Sidewalks Project Meeting: 6:30 p.m. Jan. 23, 2017; East Regional Library, 6301 Bridge St.

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Joint Fort Worth City Council and Fort Worth Employees' Retirement Fund Board Meeting: 1:30 p.m. Jan. 24, 2017; City Council Conference Room, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Jan. 24, 2017; City Council Conference Room, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Notice of Public Hearing - Federal Plaza Park: 7 p.m. Jan. 24, 2017; City Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Jan. 24, 2017; CIty Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Area Metropolitan Ambulance Authority : 10 a.m. Jan. 25, 2017; Medstar Mobile Healthcare, 2900 Alta Mere Drive.
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Community Awareness Meeting : noon Jan. 25, 2017; Council Chambers, City of Hurst, 1505 Precinct Line Road.
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City Plan Commission Work Session: noon Jan. 25, 2017; City Council Conference Room, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Plan Commission Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. Jan. 25, 2017; Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Park and Recreation Advisory Board: 4 p.m. Jan. 25, 2017; Highland Hills Community Center, 1600 Glasgow Road.
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Urban Design Commission - Work Session : 10 a.m. Jan. 26, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall , 200 Texas Street.
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Urban Design Commission - Public Hearing : 10 a.m. Jan. 26, 2017; City Council Chamber Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Stormwater Master Plan Update Stakeholder Meeting: 6 p.m. Jan. 26, 2017; Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, 818 Missouri Ave.

Meet and Confer Negotiations between the City and Fort Worth Police Officers Association : 11 a.m. Jan. 27, 2017; Performance Hall, Ella Mae Shamblee Library, 1062 Evans Avenue.
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Blood Drive: 4 p.m. Jan. 27, 2017; Medstar Mobile Healthcare, 2900 Alta Mere Drive.

Kickback: 7 p.m. Jan. 27, 2017; Hillside Community Center, 1201 E. Maddox.

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