City expanding on success of its HOPE Team in helping the homeless
Published on September 05, 2022
What’s the benefit to taxpayers? The HOPE Team approaches the homeless issue by working to find housing for those living on the streets.
What’s the budget proposal? $250,000 from the General Fund for two firefighter paramedic positions, and $627,228 from the Crime Control and Prevention District for five police officers and a corporal.
What’s next? The council will hear the budget request during a workshop and consider funding two new positions. The council votes on the budget in September.
Homelessness is a concern for cities nationwide. Fort Worth has taken a proactive and more holistic approach to the issue.
Formed in 2019, the HOPE Team — Homeless Outreach Programs and Enforcement — is a successful outreach program of the City’s Police and Fire departments, and mental health provider MHMR of Tarrant County.
The HOPE Team works to find housing programs for the homeless to keep them out of jail or the hospital, both that can be costly to taxpayers. The new positions mean the team can expand to also work nights and weekends to reduce further the numbers of people without permanent shelter across the city.
Under the new budget, the Police Department would increase its participation to 10 officers from four, and the Fire Department would convert one firefighter now on loan to the program to two paramedic permanent positions. MHMR will continue to provide one counselor.
The HOPE Team’s work became visible to the community when Fort Worth opened the doors of the Fort Worth Convention Center to its homeless population during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Because of the team’s work downtown at that time, numerous homeless individuals were returned to the care of relatives or placed in housing programs.
Learn more about the City of Fort Worth budget and opportunities for engagement.
Photo: The HOPE Team approaches the homeless issue by working to find housing for people living on the streets.
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