Presbyterian Night Shelter to own, operate and manage True Worth Place

True Worth Place a surprise gift to Presbyterian Night Shelter

Paul K. Harral

The Fort Worth Foundation Trust – the organization that funded and built True Worth Place just off Lancaster Avenue – announced this week that it is transferring ownership and operations of the multi-million-dollar building at 1513 E. Presidio to Presbyterian Night Shelter (PNS).

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The offer caught PNS CEO Toby Owen off-guard.

“Absolutely it was a surprise,” Owen told the Fort Worth Business Press. “I took a day between Christmas and New Year’s and was driving my son to a store when I was called with the possible opportunity.”

True Worth Place is described as a destination resource facility to serve the homeless, offering an array of services from access to computers and training to restrooms, laundry facilities and temporary storage.

“True Worth Place will fill a need for daytime shelter, but most importantly as a central resource facility that will partner with numerous organizations to help the homeless in Fort Worth and Tarrant county,” Owen said. “It will allow us to streamline our services and provide care for our guests on a 24-hour basis.”

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PNS will immediately assume leadership of True Worth and the foundation will donate the fully-furnished building and will provide significant operational funding.

“We know that Fort Worth’s homeless situation is a solvable issue, but it is difficult to find enough resources to fund and achieve positive results,” Sandra Knight, Fort Worth Foundation Trust trustee, said in a news release. “We hope this contribution energizes the city’s Directions Home plan and facilitates collaboration among the important agencies and organizations who are working tirelessly to assist the homeless.”

PNS Chairman Matt Milden said in the release that PNS is both humbled and excited with its new assignment to manage and activate True Worth Place to its full potential.

“True Worth Place is a progressive, state-of-the-art building that represents a major milestone to accomplish our service and mission. It’s a place where our clients and our people will feel comfortable and proud; True Worth is the opposite of most resource facilities that are hidden or out of sight. Together, we will shamelessly and confidently work to move the homeless to a home,” said Milden.

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“I believe this to be a major contribution to the homeless population of Fort Worth,” said Owen. “I believe a lot of people will move out of homelessness because of the True Worth Place.”

The Presbyterian Night Shelter was started by three Fort Worth Presbyterian churches in 1984 to provide overnight shelter for homeless persons. Originally, it was to be just another night shelter available at no cost.

Since its founding, PNS has added additional functions, including comprehensive individual case management and housing assistance. In 1997, PNS became an independent non-profit agency. Emergency assistance is still a mainstay of the program, sheltering about 670 people each night.

The Fort Worth Foundation was formed in 2009 and was fully-funded following the death of Fort Worth real estate investor Noman Kronick in 2010. Kronick established the purpose of the charity saying he wanted the organization to “feed the hungry and help the homeless in Fort Worth and the surrounding North Texas area.”