Because of grant funding restrictions, the DRC is unable to offer services to people who do not meet the U.S. Department of Housing and Urband Development (HUD) definition of homeless.
HUD definitions of “homeless” include:
Individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, meaning:
- Has a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not meant for human habitation; or
- Is living in a publicly or privately operated shelter designated to provide temporary living arrangements (including congregate shelters, transitional housing, and hotels and motels paid for by charitable organizations or by federal, state and local government programs); or
- Is exiting an institution where (s)he has resided for 90 days or less and who resided in an emergency shelter or place not meant for human habitation immediately before entering that institution.
In plain terms: To get services through the DRC, you must:
- be living outside, in your car, in a tent, in an abandoned building, or some other place that people aren’t normally supposed to live, OR
- be staying in a shelter, OR
- have recently been released from an institution (like a hospital or jail) where you were there for less than 90 days AND before that, you were homeless.
Unfortunately, we are unable to assist people who are “couch surfing,” staying with relatives, paying for their own motel or hotel, or otherwise currently have a place to live. There are many agencies around Tarrant County who can assist people in these situations. Please call the Texas Health and Human Services Division at 2-1-1 or visit their website to find help if you do not meet the HUD definition of homeless.
To receive services through the DRC, you must have a current Tarrant County Homeless Coalition (TCHC) scan card.
If you do not have a current TCHC scan card, visit their website to learn how, where, and when to get one.
The DRC helps thousands of people each year replace birth certificates, driver’s licenses or state IDs, social security cards, and more!
To get help from the DRC with identity documents, your case manager must make an appointment with the DRC’s Critical Document Specialist. If you need help with identity documents, please ask your case manager to contact us for an appointment.
The DRC does not take walk-ins for identity document replacement. If you contact the DRC inquiring about replacing identity documents, you will be asked to have your case manager make an appointment.
Additionally, you must have a current TCHC scan card to receive assistance with identity documents. If you do not have a TCHC scan card, please visit their website to learn more about how, when, and where to get one.
Step 1: The Scan Card
You need to have a Tarrant County Homeless Coalition, also called TCHC, scan card to receive services.
To get a scan card, visit one of the TCHC locations. Look on this website to find locations and times: https://ahomewithhope.org/help/scan-cards-id/. They will ask you some questions, and you will receive a temporary scan card.
When you get your temporary scan card, you will also get an appointment to have a TB test done. Usually this happens during the next month sometime. You must keep this appointment!
- If you do not have TB, you will be given a permanent scan card that is good for one year.
- If you do not pass your TB test, someone from TCHC will speak to you about what happens next.
Step 2: 14 Days
Wait 14 days after your get your temporary scan card. This is a TCHC policy, and the DRC cannot change it.
Step 3: Vee-Spit-At
Complete what is called a VI-SPDAT (sounds like “vee-spit-at”) assessment. For this, you meet with a case manager who will ask you questions about your history, your health, and more. Various agencies can do this assessment. If you have a case manager through a shelter or other program, ask your case manager about this assessment.
If you want to have your VI-SPDAT assessment done at the DRC, you may visit 1100 E. Lancaster (also called The Flag Building) on either Tuesday or Thursday morning for a walk-in meeting. Please let the staff know you would like to have an assessment done. Bring your scan card! Walk in assessments are done on a first come, first served basis and the doors open at 9am. Be early!
Once you have completed this assessment, you will be entered into the Homeless Management Information System, or HMIS. HMIS is a computer program that is used by all of the agencies that work with TCHC.
Step 4: The Waiting is the hardest part
Now you wait. It is important that you keep up with your case manager and any meetings you’re supposed to attend during this time.
Some important things to do while you wait:
- It is VERY IMPORTANT for you to tell your case manager if you have any changes in your family (like a baby is born or your get divorced), if you have any changes to your income (like if you get a job or lose your job), or if you have any changes in a disabling condition (like you are diagnosed with a disease or you become disabled).
- It is also VERY IMPORTANT that you make sure your case manager knows how to get in touch with you. Tell your case manager if you change where you are staying, if you get a different phone number, or anything like that. If your case manager cannot find you when your name comes up on the housing list, you could lose your place on the list!
- It is VERY IMPORTANT that you get all of your identity documents at this time. Be sure to speak with your case manager to get a referral to the DRC’s Critical Document Specialist if you are missing anything. You will need your documents when you go on to Step 5.
Step 5: HAPPY DAY!
Your name comes up on the housing list. You will meet with a Housing Navigator from the DRC. The Navigator will tell you about different programs and help you look for an appropriate place to live. Keep in touch with your Navigator, and keep all appointments! The Navigator will help you with everything you’ll need to do to move into your new place.
Call 817-810-9797 Monday through Friday.
Our service offices are located within the When We Love Transfer Center at 1100 E. Lancaster, Fort Worth, TX. Staff are there Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm.
The building looks like this:
If you need someone to call you back, be sure to include your phone number.