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Homeless and Unemployed


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#51 RD Milhollin

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Posted 31 December 2009 - 12:48 PM

I am sure some will disagree with this, but I think the homeless population along East Lancaster should be decentralized. It looks as though that section of town has been "sacrificed" for lack of a better word, to homeless shelters. Homelessness is of course a serious problems for all urban areas, Fort Worth is no exception. There are several classes of people who are homeless; some are chronic substance abusers, some mentally ill, some are seasonally unemployed, but a growing number are recently unemployed who cannot find living-wage jobs, and this group includes a growing number of families. The missions and agencies located along Lancaster do an admirable job providing shelter and food for the homeless, but other than that are there really efforts to get the sort of help these folks really need? Some need counseling, some medications, but a lot of people need help searching for jobs, and I don't believe there is a Workforce Commission down by the missions, the closest is about 3 miles away down at 4700 E. Lancaster.

Compressing all the homeless together in one area kills the economic viability of the neighborhood, taking any jobs away. And what a lot of these people need is jobs. A lot of people with no obvious hope for betterment breeds despair and violence, and this is not a good environment for children. Those unfortunate enough to be in this position have little access to people who might be in a position to provide employment, and lack the means to get to a job if it is more than a short walk away.

If the various missions and agencies serving the homeless and unemployed were relocated to several buildings surrounding downtown that population would be dispersed, and it might even be possible to provide specialized services to segments of the homeless population with special needs. The chronically, and long-term unemployed could be provided counseling and meds if needed, and the school district should be brought in to provide classes in literacy and job-hunting skills as needed. Why not go a step further and suggest GED and High School diploma courses be offered as well. The recently unemployed could be offered more advanced job placement services, including specific job-matching and employment-related training. These services could be provided on a sliding scale to be paid after the client has been employed and back on their feet for a certain period of time; out of work lawyers could pay more than out of work 7-11 clerks.

Decentralizing these services would help to avoid continuing the "culture" of unemployment that gets support when citizens in this situation are constantly surrounded by others in the same circumstance, so that over time it appears to be the normal state of things. Think how scary it must be for recently-dispossessed families in this situation and in need are lumped in with chronically unemployed substance abusers. The sheer number of clients makes it difficult for well-meaning staff and volunteers to adequately assist any individual of family find a better alternative. Moving these services near thriving commercial areas would place businesses that need employees and out-of-work people closer together. Finally, placing mission-type facilities in neighborhoods might encourage neighborhood buy-in: there should be some sort of local, neighborhood-based effort to help people in need in their own area. This places the problem at a more "real" level to people, rather than off in some distant and practically unfamiliar part of town.

Somewhat related: I remember when living in North Miami there was a major international conference with heads of state and all, all meeting at a mansion along the beach south of downtown near Coconut Grove. Arriving dignitaries would need to be driven in their limousines from the airport, about 5 miles east of downtown, to the conference site, about a mile south. All along the way, and especially closer to downtown, homeless colonies thrived under bridges in cardboard constructions. It was winter, and the homeless population boomed as many people up north came down to "winter" in south Florida. The homeless were no exception. The Feds and local police analyzed the situation and decided the best course of action to make the transportation route more "presentable", and presumably safer, was to clear out the homeless colonies for the week of the meeting, and allow the "residents" to return afterward. Temporary housing and food service was arranged away from the route, and people were given assistance moving. There were similarly assisted returning back after the meeting. I am sure the visual impression given to visiting heads of state was most favorable.

#52 David Love

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Posted 31 December 2009 - 10:09 PM

Pockets of assistance would "appear" to be a good solution to some of the bad situations individuals and families find themselves in. Right after Katrina I noticed some of the newly relocated downtown, a few in small packs, some of the older glib mentors appeared to be teaching newbies how best to panhandle in Texas. Had they not just dumped everyone together and addressed individual and family needs, maybe some would have been able to learn something other than how best to beg money from tourists.

Every time I drive by the Knights of Pythias building, slowly decaying, rotting plywood on the windows, I wonder how many families could live there or how many struggling couples, starving artists could call it a home base. There are a LOT of potential employers of EVERY job class within walking distance. You can't solve ALL the social problems, one thing I'm sure of is there isn't a "one size fits all" solution, but you can make things better for some, even if it's just one building at a time. Over time, one building can make a big difference to a lot of people.

Better Business Bureau:  A place to find or post valid complaints for auto delerships and maintenance facilities. (New Features) If you have a valid gripe about auto dealerships, this is the place to voice it.


#53 gdvanc

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 05:16 AM

Gotta get some rest before Mass, but wanted to add a few links from the city's web site and make one comment on Pup's decentralization suggestion: basically, I think there might be some merit to that, but the key thing might be for the housing to be near appropriate employment options or medical care, depending on the needs of the person being housed.

Some links to the city's Directions Home material:
Overview
More Detail
Year One Report

I haven't had time to review all of the information they provide, but the 10-year plan might have be complete before I do so. I had some trouble accessing a couple of the links on the Year One Report and haven't had a chance to verify whether it's a problem with their site or with my ancient dying computer. And that reminds me of an old telephone serviceman joke: A telephone serviceman had been drafted into the Army. While trying to qualify at the rifle range, he kept missing the target. Puzzled, he put one finger over the end of his rifle and squeezed off a round - blowing the end of his finger clean off. He yelled down to the butts, "It's leaving here just fine; the trouble must be at your end!"

#54 Austin55

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Posted 29 March 2015 - 12:12 AM

The big topic lately has been of the evicting of homeless from the makeshift camp at Vickery and 287. 

 

http://www.star-tele...le16476884.html



#55 johnfwd

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 07:57 AM

Next-day story in S-T is even more unpleasant.

 

 

http://www.star-tele...le16735064.html



#56 RD Milhollin

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 09:42 AM

Homeless shelters, panhandlers, prostitutes, drug addicts, and burglaries cited as reasons Marshall Grain is closing their East Lancaster store, a fixture in the historic neighborhood since 1946. The owners will continue selling organic gardening and pet supplies at their Grapevine location:

 

http://www.star-tele...le75877027.html



#57 Lobster Eastside

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 11:07 AM

Some interesting observations and ideas here:

http://www.fwweekly....fine-and-tandy/

#58 rriojas71

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 03:30 PM

Some interesting observations and ideas here:http://www.fwweekly....fine-and-tandy/


Definitely a good read. I drove through the area recently and stumbled upon the entrance to Tandy Hills park as I drove along Meadowbrook drive where it ends at Beach Street The neighborhood around there is not as bad as I thought it would be and it does have a lot of potential. The issue to me is what was constantly brought up throughout the article. The city just doesn't care about this area. That is the main reason why they have placed the homeless here. The question to ask is how to deal with the problem and where do the put them.




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