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

Posted May 16, 2018

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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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Urban Design Commission REVISED: 10 a.m. Oct. 18, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City of Fort Worth “Monthly Informational Forum for M/WBEs”: 11:30 a.m. Oct. 18, 2018; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus - Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.

Community Action Partners (CAP) Council: 1:30 p.m. Oct. 18, 2018; Fort Worth City Credit Untion, First Floor Board Room, 2309 Montgomery Street.
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Fort Worth Affordability, Inc.: 5 p.m. Oct. 18, 2018; FWHA Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions Regular Board Meeting: 5 p.m. Oct. 18, 2018; FWHA Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions - Katy Station Lofts: 6 p.m. Oct. 18, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office, 1201 East 13th Street.
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FWHS Board of Commissioners Public Meeting: 6 p.m. Oct. 18, 2018; FWHA Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street .
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Minority and Women Business Enterprise Advisory Committee: 11:30 a.m. Oct. 19, 2018; James E. Guinn Building, 1st Floor, PharmaFab Conference Room #116, 1150 South Freeway.
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Neighborhood Litter Stomp: 8 a.m. Oct. 20, 2018; Various.

Crud Cruiser Mobile Waste Collection: 9 a.m. Oct. 20, 2018; Gateway Church, 4205 Basswood Blvd.

Code Rangers: 9 a.m. Oct. 20, 2018; Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, 818 Missouri Ave.

Responsible Pet Ownership Class (Spanish): 9 a.m. Oct. 20, 2018; Chuck Silcox Animal Care & Adoption Center, 4900 Martin St.

Frontier Fall Fest at Log Cabin Village: 1 p.m. Oct. 20, 2018; Log Cabin Village, 2100 Log Cabin Village Lane.
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Fall Festival at Worth Heights: 6 p.m. Oct. 20, 2018; Worth Heights Community Center, 3551 New York Ave.

Building Standards Commission Pre-Meeting: 9 a.m. Oct. 22, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Building Standards Commission Meeting: 9:30 a.m. Oct. 22, 2018; Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Ad Hoc Municipal Advisory Committee: 11:30 a.m. Oct. 22, 2018; City Manager's Conference Room 380, Third Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Trinity Metro Board of Directors Meeting: 3:30 p.m. Oct. 22, 2018; Intermodal Transportation Center, Second Floor, Community Room, 1001 Jones Street.
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Hammond Street Drainage Improvements Project Meeting: 6 p.m. Oct. 22, 2018; Victory Forest Community Center, 3427 Hemphill St.

Bellaire Channel Stormwater Maintenance Project Meeting: 6 p.m. Oct. 22, 2018; South Hills Christian Church, 3200 Bilglade Road.

Senior Spooky Social at Hillside: 10 a.m. Oct. 23, 2018; Hillside Community Center, 1201 E. Maddox Ave.

Audit Committee: 1 p.m. Oct. 23, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Oct. 23, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Oct. 23, 2018; Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

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