FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Fort Worth could be the largest city to eradicate chronic homelessness according to the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition.
To help further that mission, the city allocated federal money from the American Rescue Plan Act to help build permanent supportive housing for those are experiencing homelessness.
The $ 5 million in federal funds is in addition the $ 15 million the city previously set aside for 165 units of housing for its homeless population. The Tarrant County Homeless Coalition estimates there are around 1,200 people who are homeless in the city. About 20% have been on the streets longer than a year.
“That will actually help us get people housed faster. Right now, our biggest challenge is finding places for people to live,” said Lauren King, Executive Director of the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition.
To qualify, the person must have been homeless for at least a year and have a disability.
While the location of a new building or refurbished structure are still in the works, it can look similar to the Casa de Esperanza in north Fort Worth were people who have experienced homelessness are living. The building was a motel, but was renovated into housing units in 2020 for homeless people at risk for COVID-19.
“That had a huge impact on the community because we were able to move 70 people who were living on the streets,” King added.
With this money to expand housing opportunities, they hope to help even more who are in need.
“It does not have to be this kind of this institutional something or other, and we want it to fit into wherever it belongs and we want to make sure it meets the individual’s needs who are going to live there,” said King.
The goal is to have the project started later this summer of fall.