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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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Ad Hoc Municipal Court Advisory Committee: 11 a.m. Sept. 27, 2016; Room 380, CMO Conference Room, 3rd Floor, City Hall , 1000 Throckmorton St.
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Fort Worth Housing Finance Corporation : 2 p.m. Sept. 27, 2016; Pre-Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 1000 Throckmorton St.
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Pre-Council Meeting: 3 p.m. Sept. 27, 2016; Pre-Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 1000 Throckmorton St.
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Fort Worth Human Relations Commission: 5:30 p.m. Sept. 27, 2016; Room 201 AB, Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, 818 Missouri Ave.
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Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Sept. 27, 2016; Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 1000 Throckmorton St.
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Area Metropolitan Ambulance Authority - Board of Directors: 10 a.m. Sept. 28, 2016; MedStar Mobile Healthcare, 2900 Alta Mere Dr .
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City Plan Commission - Work Session: 11 a.m. Sept. 28, 2016; City Council Conference Room, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 1000 Throckmorton St.
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City Plan Commission - Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. Sept. 28, 2016; Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 1000 Throckmorton St.
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Park and Recreation Advisory Board: 4 p.m. Sept. 28, 2016; Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.
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Park Board Meeting: 4 p.m. Sept. 28, 2016; Botanic Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.

Fort Worth Police Officers Association - Meet and Confer: 8:30 a.m. Sept. 29, 2016; Pre-Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall , 1000 Throckmorton St.
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Stormwater Management Stakeholder Advisory Group: 1:30 p.m. Sept. 29, 2016; Fort Worth Credit Union, 2309 Montgomery St.
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Responsible Pet Ownership Class (Spanish): 6 p.m. Sept. 29, 2016; Chuck Silcox Animal Care & Control Center, 4900 Martin Street.
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Movies That Matter: Willie Velasquez: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 29, 2016; The Modern, 3220 Darnell St.

Community Awareness Meeting - Valley View Branch Watershed: noon Sept. 30, 2016; Council Chamber, City of Hurst , 1505 Precinct Line Rd.
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Stark Street Sidewalks Project Meeting: 11 a.m. Oct. 1, 2016; Handley Meadowbrook Community Center, 6201 Beaty St.

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