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Temporary emergency sheltering in the Fort Worth Convention Center to cease mid-June

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Temporary emergency sheltering in the Fort Worth Convention Center to cease mid-June

by FWBP Staff

    The emergency night shelter at the Fort Worth Convention Center (FWCC) is expected to end by June 19, city officials have reported.
    “The shelters are being cautious and they want to take things slowly and incrementally as they increase capacity,” Park and Recreation Director Richard Zavala said.
    The downtown facility will operate its last night as a shelter on June 18. Between now and then, the number of homeless individuals at the FWCC is being reduced weekly. City staff and others are working to find housing for the individuals, and some will return to the shelters.
    The city and its partner agencies began operating the temporary shelter on March 18 to help the city’s emergency shelters cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Strict Centers for Disease Control and Prevention social distancing guidelines put in place to help stop the spread forced the shelters to reduce the number of individuals they usually care for.
    On average, each night about 330 people had food, medical care and a place to sleep at the Convention Center.  
    Decontaminating the Convention Center will begin June 19, with the facility back in operation by July 3. Texas recently began reopening its economy. The center is hosting two conventions in July.
    The city is looking for a location outside of downtown that would continue temporary sheltering for about 100 people still searching for housing. That facility could operate until Dec. 30.
    The city is also negotiating a lease for a vacant, former 44-bed acute care facility in southwest Fort Worth where homeless individuals who are COVID-19 positive, or who have been exposed to the Coronavirus and require isolation will be sent. It will also operate until Dec. 30.
    The 48 RVs adjacent to the FWCC that were used to house ill or suspected ill clients will be removed by June 19. So far, nine people stayed in the RVs. RVs at the Will Rogers Memorial Center designated for first responders and other essential personnel are also being removed.
    Fort Worth received $158.7 million from U.S. Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Some of that money will cover costs of the FWCC shelter operations, as well as the plans moving forward. To date, about $1.9 million has been spent on the operation, including health care, security, management and meals.

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