Case Study:

True Worth PlaceA Homeless Day Center Offers Dignity and Comfort in a Welcoming, Hospitable Environment

Fort Worth, Texas, USA

The Challenge

To design a community center that embodies True Worth Place’s mission to empower the disenfranchised and restore their hope and dignity. A model for future facilities, the center welcomes those in need in an environment featuring unexpectedly warm and thoughtful amenities.

The Design Solution

True Worth Place represents a new approach to supporting the homeless. The environment feels more like a hotel or health club, with a central two-story hearth surrounded by club chairs and an exposed wood ceiling. The homeless can eat, take cooking classes, check e-mail or apply for jobs online, receive mail, shower, do laundry, charge electronics, take classes and even access health care in a single facility.

Several interior glass walls provide a sense of safety and openness through clear sight lines, while filling the space with daylight. The site features a community courtyard and outdoor dining on a roof deck with a beautiful view of Fort Worth. An industrial-grade kitchen provides 200 meals each at breakfast and lunch every day.

The Design Impact

True Worth Place served nearly 5,000 people in its first year — or nearly all the people who experienced homelessness in Tarrant County.

Project Features

  • Health clinic
  • Dental clinic
  • Showers
  • Lockers
  • Mail room
  • Rooftop deck
  • Industrial kitchen
  • Technology center classrooms

Awards

  • 2018 Social Innovation Award (Healthcare Environment Award)
  • 2018 Merit Award, AIA Fort Worth
  • 2018 Design Excellence Award, Healthcare Large Category

This environment changes how people feel. The facility and the environment reflect what we’re trying to do.

Erin Mayer

Director, True Worth Place