In response to growing concerns voiced by businesses regarding unsheltered individuals, the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce team initiated discussions with representatives from the City of Fort Worth who are engaged in different aspects connected to the homeless community. These interactions led to the identification of several practical recommendations that businesses can implement to effectively address the challenges posed by unsheltered individuals.
- City App for Reporting: One of the primary suggestions is to make use of the City App to report instances of homeless camps and unwanted solicitations. This streamlined reporting process allows businesses to contribute valuable information to the authorities, facilitating a more coordinated response to the issue. By leveraging technology, businesses can play an active role in maintaining the quality of their surroundings.
- Neighborhood Police Officer (NPO) Contact: It is advised that businesses establish communication with their designated Neighborhood Police Officer (NPO). Even if businesses are not currently facing challenges related to homelessness, maintaining a connection with the NPO can serve as a proactive measure. The Fort Worth Police Department provides an easy-to-use tool on their website to help businesses identify their respective NPO. This engagement can foster a sense of security and encourage a supportive relationship between businesses and law enforcement.
- Loitering Prohibition Signs: To deter loitering and create a more conducive environment for businesses and their customers, the recommendation is to post signs that clearly state the prohibition of loitering. These visible reminders communicate the business's stance on maintaining a welcoming atmosphere while also contributing to the overall safety and orderliness of the premises.
- Locked Dumpsters: Addressing practical concerns related to waste management, the suggestion is to lock on-site dumpsters. This measure not only helps manage waste effectively but can also deter unauthorized access and potential disturbances that might be associated with unattended waste disposal areas.
As Fort Worth continues to evolve, this collaborative effort highlights the power of collective action in creating safer, more vibrant, and inclusive business environments. By pooling resources, knowledge, and insights, these recommendations provide businesses with actionable steps to address concerns related to unsheltered individuals while also acknowledging the broader challenges faced by the homeless community.