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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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Calendar

Canceled City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. May 22, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.

Canceled City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. May 22, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.

Metropolitan Area EMS Authority / MedStar Mobile Healthcare: 10 a.m. May 23, 2018; MedStar Mobile Healthcare, 2900 Alta Mere Drive.
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School Visit - Lunch & Learn: noon May 23, 2018; Atwood Macdonald Elementary .

City Plan Commission Work Session: noon May 23, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Fort Worth Professional Fire Fighters Association Collective Bargaining Negotiations: 12:30 p.m. May 23, 2018; IAFF Local 440 Office, 3855 Tulsa Way.
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City Plan Commission Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. May 23, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.
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Budget Stakeholder's Meeting: 3:30 p.m. May 23, 2018; Council Room 290, 200 Texas Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102.

Park and Recreation Advisory Board Meeting: 4 p.m. May 23, 2018; Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Deborah Beggs Memorial Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard.
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Rolling Town Hall: 6 p.m. May 23, 2018; Ridglea North, Berney Park, 6316 Rosemont Avenue.

Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Directors Regular Meeting: 5 p.m. May 24, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 13th Street.
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Fort Worth Affordability Inc: 5 p.m. May 24, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Westcliff Drainage Improvements Project Open House: 6 p.m. May 24, 2018; Westcliff Elementary School - Auditorium, 4300 Clay Ave.

Deferred Compensation Oversight Committee: 9 a.m. May 25, 2018; Fort Worth Credit Union Board Room, 2309 Montgomery Street.
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Foodpalooza at Hillside Community Center: 1 p.m. May 26, 2018; Hillside Community Center, 1201 E. Maddox Ave.

View the full city calendar.