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Fort Worth City Council forms new homeless task force

By Scott Nishimura
snishimura@bizpress.net

The Fort Worth City Council named a new task force Tuesday that will review the effectiveness of homelessness initiatives in the city.

The naming of the task force came at Mayor Betsy Price’s direction, after a city commission issued a recent report that criticized the city’s commitment to ending homelessness.

City Council members Kelly Allen Gray, District 8, and Danny Scarth, District 4, will chair the task force.

Other members include Ted Blevins, the retired Lena Pope Home executive director who’s taken the lead for the Fort Worth Foundation in building a new service complex for the homeless off of East Lancasger; East Side business and community leader Don Boren; June Davis, special projects director for the Fort Worth schools; Southeast Fort Worth neighborhood association leader Monnie Gilliam; Mark Hill, chair of the Fort Worth Advisory Commission on Ending Homelessness, which issued the critical report; Alex Jimenez, former longtime chair of the Fort Worth Housing Authority; J.R. Labbe, communications vice president for the JPS Health Network; and Norbert White, CEO of Samaritan House in Fort Worth.

The City Council, in a unanimous vote Tuesday, charged the task force with:

Reviewing the roles and responsibilities of major organizations that fund or deliver services to homeless people in Fort Worth;

Analyze the flow of financial resources associated with these services;

Assess the efficiency and effectiveness of this service system;

Identify opportunities to improve communication, coordination and collaboration among public and nonprofit agencies serving the homeless;

Advise the council on opportunities to streamline the funding and delivery of services to the homeless.

The commission’s final report to the council is due July 22. Gray said the city's goal was to not choose representatives of service provicers.

Price defined the central goal of the task force as determining whether every service provider in the city’s homeless space is “delivering maximum progress.”

“I believe they are,” she said.

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