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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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City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. March 28, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Forest Park Easement Public Hearing: 7 p.m. March 28, 2017; City Hall Council Chamber, 200 Texas Street.

City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. March 28, 2017; CIty Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Notice of Public Hearing - Forest Park: 7 p.m. March 28, 2017; City Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions Tour of Hunter Plaza: 3:15 p.m. March 29, 2017; Hunter Plaza, 615 West 7th Street.
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Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Commission: 6 p.m. March 29, 2017; Tarrant Regional Water District, Conference Room, 800 East Northside Drive.
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Mayor's Rolling and Walking Town Hall Kickoff: 6 p.m. March 29, 2017; Casa MaƱana, 3101 W. Lancaster Ave.
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Forest Park & Zoo Drainage Project Meeting: 6 p.m. March 29, 2017; Botanic Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd - Rosebud Room.

Fort Worth Housing Solutions Tour of Cavile Place Apartments: 11 a.m. March 30, 2017; Cavile Place Apartments, 1401 Etta Street.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions - Board of Commissioners : 5:30 p.m. March 30, 2017; Cafeteria, Wayside Middle School , 1300 Old Decatur Road.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions Public Meeting: 5:30 p.m. March 30, 2017; Wayside Middle School Cafeteria, 1300 Old Decatur Road .
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City of Fort Worth and Fort Worth Police Officers Association - Meet and Confer: 11 a.m. March 31, 2017; Azalea Room, Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.
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Kickback: 7 p.m. March 31, 2017; Riverside Community Center, 3700 E. Belknap.

Cowtown Cleanup: 8 a.m. April 1, 2017; Various locations.

Handley Drive, Commancho Street & Reed Street Sidewalks Project Meeting: 10 a.m. April 1, 2017; Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 5565 Truman Drive.

Earth Party: 11 a.m. April 1, 2017; Fort Worth Water Garden, 1502 Commerce St.

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