Rehousing homeless a win-win for city


The Day Resource Center for the Homeless is evolving into DRC Community Solutions to End Homelessness.
The Day Resource Center for the Homeless is evolving into DRC Community Solutions to End Homelessness. jlmarshall@star-telegram.com

DRC, formerly known as the Day Resource Center, has shuttered its original day shelter for the homeless to focus on the “ultimate solution” — getting the homeless housed.

Day shelters are “just a small part of what we do,” Executve Director Bruce Frankel said.

DRC closed its day shelter location Wednesday, but homeless individuals haven’t been without shelter.

Across the street, a new, modern day shelter welcomes them.

The new shelter, True Worth Place, has mailing addresses, laundry facilities and other helpful services for the homeless. DRC has a presence there, along with other community organizations.

Collaborating with True Worth frees up DRC and the passionate Frankel to work on ending homelessness in Fort Worth.

They want to address homelessness in the most efficient way possible.

Many local nonprofits collaborate and coordinate to create a network that works to put people in homes.

That network is one of the best approaches to help curtail homelessness in Fort Worth. In 2008, the city put together an aggressive 10-year plan to end homelessness, but last year’s numbers show a rising homeless population.

After the True Worth shelter was announced last year, DRC’s leaders took a long look at their strategy and what they wanted for their future.

They found there was “a greater need for things outside of the [day] shelter.”

With the housing-first strategy, rehousing without contingencies, DRC is trying to rapidly house as many people as possible.

The city has adopted the same successful approach.

But housing isn’t always available, Frankel said. And sometimes, residents push back against somebody who’s been homeless moving to a neighborhood.

“Homelessness is a moment in someone's life, not a label,” he said.

That needs to be understood. Ending homelessness is a citywide effort.

“We have a choice: We can spend millions to merely manage homelessness or invest to end it,” a DRC handout says.

Fort Worth should actively work toward the latter.