Outreach

Bringing services to the unsheltered.

Outreach

Bringing services to the unsheltered

History

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, social distancing protocols caused local night shelters to drastically reduce the number of beds available. In response, the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition and parter agencies opened an overflow shelter at the Tarrant County Convention Center. Hundreds of individuals and families sought safe shelter each night from mid-March through July. In these months, over 2,000 individuals were provided shelter.

DRC Solutions managed and staffed the overflow shelter, seeing many familiar faces and some not-so-familiar. DRC staff encountered large numbers of individuals and families who believed they were in the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition database and simply waiting for housing, but who, in fact, were not.
These people either were no longer in the system after years of no contact by any service provider, or had never been evaluated by any participating organization and entered into the database. Nobody was tracking them. Instead of moving towards housing, hundreds of individuals and families were languishing in unsheltered homelessness with no end in sight.

Something had to change.

Solution

The DRC assessed how this gap in services could be filled, and in late 2020 launched the DRC Street Outreach Team.

DRC Street Outreach Team provides outreach services to ensure unsheltered citizens experiencing homelessness have access to housing opportunities in the community. This team locates individuals and families experiencing unsheltered homelessness, completes assessments for housing, helps them gather documentation required for housing program eligibility, and connects them with appropriate housing interventions within the Tarrant County Continuum of Care.

Partnership

On June 15, 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law Texas House Bill 1925 which took effect on September 1, 2021. HB1925 makes camping in an unapproved public place by people experiencing homelessness a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or arrest. The bill also mandates that law enforcement provide people living unsheltered in camps with information about organizations and programs which may be of assistance.

Two members of the DRC Street Outreach Team are embedded with the Fort Worth Police Department’s HOPE Unit, a partnership between the DRC and the City of Fort Worth, the Fort Worth Police Department, and My Health My Resources Tarrant County (MHMR). JPS Care Connections is brought in as necessary.

Results

In 2021, the DRC Street Outreach Team provided services to 1,659 individuals or families and moved 167 households out of chronic, unsheltered homelessness into housing.
Through Q2 of 2022, this team has provided services to 976 individuals or families and moved 92 households out of camps into homes of their own.

Challenge

Often, the campsites the team frequents are in deep wooded areas, parks, and fields not easily accessed without off-road capability. DRC Street Outreach team members’ personal vehicles are not equipped to handle the wear and tear that off-road adventures present.

Need

The DRC Street Outreach team is in desperate need of a new or late model 4WD mid-sized truck with an automatic transmission.

A vehicle with off-road capability will make the team more efficient and will allow for greater coverage of homeless encampments across our community. Additionally, having a DRC-owned vehicle will alleviate any liability encountered by staff members using personal vehicles.

DRC’s goal is to provide equal access to housing for our unsheltered neighbors. Having a vehicle that can cover more ground will advance this goal. A team vehicle will also have a positive impact by allowing for transportation of individuals and families to their lease signing on the big day when they move into their new home.

Support

The DRC is actively seeking financial support this campaign. Estimated initial costs are $47,150.

Gifts may be made through the form on this page or by check to:

DRC Solutions
Attn: Liesl Manone
PO Box 0871
Fort Worth, TX 76101

Please note on your check that this gift is in support of the Outreach Team Truck Campaign.
100% of your gift is tax deductible. You will receive a receipt for your donation.

Acknowledgment

Donations of $10,000 or more are eligible to have a name and/or logo placed on the vehicle in recognition of your support.

Contact

Ms. Liesl Manone
Director of Communications and Development
give@DRC-Solutions.org
Office: 817-810-9797 ext. 104
Cell: 817-575-7948 (text preferred)

Giving Form

We see that you are on a mobile device. Please visit the mobile friendly giving form

Progress

Thank you to the following donors:

Trinity Episcopal Church

Gary’s Story

Meet Gary. Gary lived in this campsite since 2007.
Dirty. Cold. Scared. Hurting.
In 2017, he was the victim of a hit-and-run that broke his back. He’s been in and out of the hospital because of this injury. He lives with PTSD and constant pain. He has no family.
At his camp, he has had to haul water and firewood, despite his mobility issues. The fire kept him warm, but made it hard for him to breathe.
Then one day, DRC Mobile Assessor Johnetta Hudspeth picked up Gary to take him to his new home at the Casa de Esperanza apartments.
Clean. Warm. Secure. Relieved.
Says Johnetta, “He cried, I cried, his campmates cried, but we left, because he was so ready.”
Gary says that when the DRC showed up at his campsite, he knew it was finally his time after waiting for so long. “I haven’t been the most righteous man, but I know there is a God.”
He adds, “The people at the DRC put their hearts into it; it is more than a job to them. They really care about homeless people with no judgment, and give us hope again.”
THANK YOU for making home a reality for Gary and so many like him! Your support ensures there is always a Johnetta to reach out and change a life.

Gary’s Story

Meet Gary. Gary lived in this campsite since 2007.
Dirty. Cold. Scared. Hurting.
In 2017, he was the victim of a hit-and-run that broke his back. He’s been in and out of the hospital because of this injury. He lives with PTSD and constant pain. He has no family.
At his camp, he has had to haul water and firewood, despite his mobility issues. The fire kept him warm, but made it hard for him to breathe.
Then one day, DRC Mobile Assessor Johnetta Hudspeth picked up Gary to take him to his new home at the Casa de Esperanza apartments.
Clean. Warm. Secure. Relieved.
Says Johnetta, “He cried, I cried, his campmates cried, but we left, because he was so ready.”
Gary says that when the DRC showed up at his campsite, he knew it was finally his time after waiting for so long. “I haven’t been the most righteous man, but I know there is a God.”
He adds, “The people at the DRC put their hearts into it; it is more than a job to them. They really care about homeless people with no judgment, and give us hope again.”
THANK YOU for making home a reality for Gary and so many like him! Your support ensures there is always a Johnetta to reach out and change a life.

Housing First makes housing last.

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