Homeless resource center to become reality in Fort Worth

 
 
 
 
   

Public-private partnership will create a centralized hub of services, including a community clinic

Fort Worth Texas (April 12, 2013) – A central resource center, the cornerstone of the Directions Home plan to make chronic homelessness a rare, short-term and non-recurring experience in our community, is moving from dream to reality thanks to a partnership between The Fort Worth Foundation and JPS Health Network.

The resource center will include a community clinic that will provide a medical home to those on the street as they work toward self-sufficiency.

The Fort Worth Foundation will build the resource center on approximately 1.5 acres of land it has agreed to purchase from JPS.  The public health network will operate the adult community clinic.  A non-profit operating entity created and funded by the Foundation will govern the center’s overall operations.  

A 2011 JPS study identified more than 230 homeless patients who were frequent users of the health network’s emergency and inpatient services, incurring charges of more than $10 million. Those findings reinforce the need for medical services outlined in A Plan for the Delivery of Health Care for the Homeless, a report prepared for Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks, in 2008.

“The mission at the Fort Worth Foundation is simple – to help the homeless and hungry in our community,” said Foundation Director Sandra Knight.  “After carefully studying the Directions Home report and Commissioner Brooks’ report on healthcare needs for the homeless, and
talking with local experts and service providers, we began to focus on building a central resource facility.  With our JPS partnership we are now ready to do our part in helping the homeless.”

Findings of the 2008 Directions Home plan, produced by an advisory commission convened by former Mayor Mike Moncrief, revealed that 86 percent of Tarrant County’s homeless are concentrated in close proximity to downtown Fort Worth. Creation of the resource center in the East Lancaster community will enhance the capacity to provide services to unsheltered and emergency sheltered residents in a centralized way.

Approximately half of the 25,000-square-foot facility will be a health clinic that provides primary and preventive care; chronic disease management; behavioral health services; and podiatric, orthopedic and dental care.  

Robert Earley, president and Chief Executive Officer of JPS, welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with the Fort Worth Foundation to serve the East Lancaster area.  

“We are convinced this partnership will provide a better way to care for vulnerable residents in our community, including the homeless,” Earley said.  “We envision an adult clinic we’d be proud to place anywhere in Tarrant County. In addition to improving the health of area residents, taxpayers will benefit from this public-private partnership.  This is a remarkable opportunity for all.”  

The non-clinical portion of the facility, located at 1513 E. Presidio St., will provide additional access to existing services for the homeless as they pursue stability, self-sufficiency and opportunity.  An advisory committee of local service providers for the homeless and other experts will assist the Fort Worth Foundation’s non-profit operating entity (yet to be named) in identifying the scope of non-clinical services needed at the center.  

“We will listen to and work with existing homeless service providers” said Ted Blevins, chairman of the Foundation’s operating entity board of directors.  “The central facility will give many providers another location to offer their important and much-needed services to our neighbors who are homeless.

“Just as we are partnering with JPS, we will also be partnering with existing organizations to ensure the central facility meets the needs of those we will serve,” Blevins said.

Directors of the Fort Worth Foundation and its non-profit operating entity spent months studying and visiting homeless assistance organizations and facilities locally and throughout the country.  The time and recommendations provided were generous and insightful.  Through the help of many, a compassionate, welcoming central resource facility, as envisioned by the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Homelessness’ Directions Home report and A Plan for the Delivery of Health Care for the Homeless, will become reality in 2014.

“This is a big step forward in our ongoing efforts to ensure the homeless have the healthcare necessary to step off the streets and into better lives,” said Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks.  “Our community is blessed in many ways.  The Fort Worth Foundation, JPS and the partners who are
and will be a part of this much-needed central resource facility are reaching out to some of our most vulnerable and needy.  We are all very thankful.”

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said the announcement shows the Directions Home report remains an important blueprint for improving lives in our community.  

“We are so thankful for the Fort Worth Foundation’s generosity,” Price said.  “This is just another great example of using private dollars for public good. Thanks to the Foundation, JPS Health Network and other partners, we continue to put the financial resources behind the expertise and guiding light that is Directions Home plan to end chronic homelessness.  We are thrilled.”

For more information, contact:
J.R. Labbe, vice president, Communication and Community Affairs
JPS Health Network
817-702-1616 office
817-658-9383 cell

Sandra Knight, director
Fort Worth Foundation
682-626-5089 office
817-319-1171 cell

 
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The Fort Worth Foundation, a Fort-Worth-based 501(c)(3), provides funds for organizations, programs and initiatives that help feed the hungry and help the homeless.  Sandra Knight, Gregg Stieber and Mike Moncrief serve as Foundation directors.

The Fort Worth Foundation’s non-profit operating entity is a Fort Worth-based 501(c)(3). It was formed and is funded by the Fort Worth Foundation to govern the central resource facility to be constructed and operated at 1513 E. Presidio St., in Fort Worth.  Ted Blevins serves as the board chairman of the operating entity.  Robert Fernandez, Nina Petty, Greg Upp and Tonya Veasey serve as board members.

JPS Health Network is the $650 million tax-supported healthcare system providing services to Tarrant County residents.   The network includes a 537-bed acute care hospital, 30 primary and specialty care health centers, 19 school-based health centers and the county’s only psychiatric emergency center and only Level 1 trauma center.

 

 

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