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New anti-panhandling program provides a better way to offer change

Posted May 16, 2018

Folks in Fort Worth have big hearts, and whenever someone asks for a helping hand, we’re likely to give it to them. But when it comes to panhandling on city streets, handing over spare change is a bad idea.

Panhandling violates a Fort Worth city ordinance, encourages a transient way of life and negatively affects public safety and quality of life. In 2017, Fort Worth Police issued 691 citations for soliciting contributions in the street, 210 citations for aggressive panhandling in a prohibited area and 47 citations for soliciting donations.

A coalition of community partners — representing government, the business community and social service agencies — has a new solution. While many panhandling programs go after the panhandlers, this new program is about educating the people who give money. This will allow them to donate to a fund that will help those in need.

Residents who are willing to help can text FWCHANGE to 41444 and their donations will benefit the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition. The donated funds will help provide housing-related services such as application fees and security deposits; bus tickets; motel vouchers for families; and mattresses.

Community partners will work with businesses and organizations to help educate residents and visitors about the program. The city is asking residents and organizations to help spread the word about the new program. Information is free to download on the city’s website.

A community conference on homelessness is planned for 9 a.m.-noon June 30 at University Christian Church, 2720 S. University Drive. Workshops will cover effective giving, how to get involved and housing opportunities. The goal is to educate the public and to redirect charitable efforts to be more effective.

Register for the conference.

To learn more, contact Tara Perez at 817-392-2235.

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City Plan Commission Work Session: noon Jan. 23, 2019; City Hall, Second Floor, City Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102.
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City Plan Commission Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. Jan. 23, 2019; City Hall, Second Floor, City Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102.
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Park & Recreation Advisory Board: 4 p.m. Jan. 23, 2019; Southwest Community Center, 6300 Welch Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas 76133.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Commissioners Regular Meeting: 5 p.m. Jan. 24, 2019; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street, Fort Worth, Texas.
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Fort Worth Affordability, Inc. Board of Directors Special Meeting: 5 p.m. Jan. 24, 2019; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street, Fort Worth, Texas.
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QuadCo Management Solutions, Inc. Board of Directors Special Meeting: 5 p.m. Jan. 24, 2019; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street, Fort Worth, Texas.
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Sedona Public Facility Corporation Board of Directors Special Meeting: 5 p.m. Jan. 24, 2019; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street, Fort Worth, Texas.
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Ironwood Crossing Public Facility Corporation Board of Directors Special Meeting: 5 p.m. Jan. 24, 2019; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street, Fort Worth, Texas.
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Active Transportation Plan Public Meeting: 6 p.m. Jan. 24, 2019; Central Library, 500 West Third St.

Fort Worth Professional Fire Fighters Association Collective Bargaining Negotiations: 1:30 p.m. Jan. 25, 2019; IAFF Local 440 Office, 3855 Tulsa Way, Fort Worth, Texas 76107.
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District 4 Caffeinated Town Hall: 9 a.m. Jan. 26, 2019; Heritage Clubhouse, 9536 Courtright Drive.

Building Standards Commission Pre-Meeting: 9 a.m. Jan. 28, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Building Standards Commission: 9:30 a.m. Jan. 28, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Active Transportation Plan Public Meeting: 6 p.m. Jan. 28, 2019; Northwest Regional Library, 6228 Crystal Lake Drive.

View the full city calendar and current meetings.