Current Endeavors to Support the Homeless Population of Fort Worth




Alavi, Michael
Burgess, Lauren
Dolan, Kathryn J.


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Purpose: The aim of this research was to identify and explore current solutions in supporting the homeless population in Fort Worth, Texas, particularly through the services provided by local non-profit organizations. Methods: We identified the terms of eligibility, services provided, service access, and barriers to effective outreach provided by five local non-profit organizations, including John Peter Smith Health Network, Tarrant County Samaritan Housing, Arlington Life Shelter, Salvation Army DFW, and Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County. Results/Conclusions: Frequent terms of eligibility include valid U.S. identification and proof of low-income or homeless status, and common service access methods include hospital referrals, word of mouth, and flyers in well-populated public areas. Services provided included shelter, aid in employment search, navigation to health services, and a variety of supportive services to integrate those who have been recently homeless into society. These organizations have encountered multiple barriers to effective outreach, such as client mental illness, client lack of appropriate paperwork, shortage of affordable housing, and transportation difficulties. Non-profit organizations in Fort Worth provide varying degrees of support for the homeless population and have identified areas for improvement that that citizens, volunteers, local government, and the organizations themselves can consider in broadening their outreach.