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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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Building Standards Commissions Pre-Meeting: 9 a.m. March 25, 2019; City Hall, second floor, City Council Confrenece Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Building Standards Commission Meeting: 9:30 a.m. March 25, 2019; City Hall, second floor, City Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Trinity Metro Board of Directors Meeting: 3:30 p.m. March 25, 2019; Intermodal Transportation Center, Second Floor Conference Room, 1001 Jones Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102.
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Loving Avenue Channel Improvements Project Meeting: 6 p.m. March 25, 2019; Diamond Hill Community Center, 1701 N.E. 36th St.

Stop Six / Rosedale Area Sewer Improvements Project Meeting: 6 p.m. March 25, 2019; Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, 1901 Amanda Ave.

City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. March 26, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. March 26, 2019; City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Metropolitan Area EMS Authority: 10 a.m. March 27, 2019; MedStar Mobile Healthcare, 2900 Alta Mere Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76116.
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City Plan Commission Work Session: noon March 27, 2019; City Hall, Second Floor, City Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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City Plan Commission Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. March 27, 2019; City Hall, Second Floor, City Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.
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Park & Recreation Advisory Board: 4 p.m. March 27, 2019; Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard, Fort Worth, Texas 76107.
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Bonnie Brae Improvements Project Meeting: 6 p.m. March 27, 2019; Bonnie Brae Elementary, 3504 Kimbo Road.

Tarrant County Adult Education & Literacy Consortium Meeting: 9:30 a.m. March 28, 2019; Workforce Development Board Office, Large Conference Room, 1320 South University Drive, Suite 600.
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Water and Wastewater Capital Improvements Plan Citizens Advisory Committee: noon March 28, 2019; Fort Worth City Credit Union, 2309 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76107.
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WORKSHOP: Code Compliance 101: 6:30 p.m. March 28, 2019; Northside Community Center, 1100 NW 18th St.

Spring Fling at Greenbriar Community Center: 6 p.m. March 29, 2019; Greenbriar Community Center, 5200 Hemphill St.

Community Rummage Sale at Andrew Doc Session Community Center: 8 a.m. March 30, 2019; Andrew Doc Session Community Center, 201 S. Sylvania Ave.

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