Fort Worth city plans to help the homeless during dropping temperature while keeping COVID-19 safety protocols in mind.
The city is planning to provide shelter to around 200 and convert community centers to shelters.
Homeless Sheltering during cold weather will be different this year due to the ongoing pandemic. Homeless looking for shelter this season will have to take a test for COVID-19.
The city will screen people for COVID-19 at 1100 East Lancaster first, southeast of downtown, and then send people to overflow shelters at sites like Sycamore and Riverside community centers.
Each site with a limited capacity will follow physical distancing.
Last time, when the temperature dropped the same way, the city provided shuttles to get people to the shelters. But this year, during the pandemic, the city will provide free bus passes.
Fort Worth City Council member Kelly Allen Gray said, “Next week it might be 100 degrees, and the following it might be 5. So we have to be forward-thinking of this.”
Some residents are not in favor of using community centers as temporary overflow shelters.
Fort Worth Councilmember Cary Moon said, “It’s not against homelessness,” “It’s staff, mayor and council wonder why folks in East Fort Worth feel like they’re being dumped on. This is why.”
Fort Worth Councilmember Ann Zadeh said, “The fact is this will probably only be activated for less than 30 days during the time.”
“Looking at these locations, being adjacent to transportation is important.”
The city opened up a convention center earlier this year as an overflow shelter during the pandemic.
Fort Worth Councilmember Gyna Bivens said, “I think COVID-19 has taught us we can do this.”