Need Help? From Mental Health to COVID-19 Info, New Texting Service by Tarrant County Offers Resources

Alonzo Osche

There’s a new texting service for Tarrant County residents searching for resources.  Online information service Tarrant Cares launched TXT4 Tarrant Cares on Wednesday. It’s meant to connect residents to a swath of resources related to just about any critical issue they may need help with — that includes assistance with food, clothing and housing services, early […]

There’s a new texting service for Tarrant County residents searching for resources. 

Online information service Tarrant Cares launched TXT4 Tarrant Cares on Wednesday. It’s meant to connect residents to a swath of resources related to just about any critical issue they may need help with — that includes assistance with food, clothing and housing services, early childhood care, family support, mental health and counseling services, substance abuse programs, child abuse and neglect services, COVID-19 testing and vaccine information, and more.

Users simply text the word “FIND” to 67629, which then leads to a guided search to access a list of nearby organizations to contact, along with a ZIP code-specific list of resources. The system pulls from Tarrant Cares’ database, which features the most up-to-date community resource listings by United Way’s 211 helpline.

TXT4 Tarrant Cares is a collaborative project by Mental Health Connection of Tarrant County (MHC); The Center for Children’s Health, led by Cook Children’s Health Care System; and Tarrant County. 

“We have a lot of amazing local organizations and nonprofit agencies standing by to support individuals and families in our community, but sometimes it can be tough to figure out where to turn when you are in the midst of a crisis,” Tarrant County Judge B. Glen Whitley, who founded the Tarrant Cares website with MHC in 2010, said in a statement. “TXT4 Tarrant Cares puts those answers in the palms of their hands, literally.”

TXT4 Tarrant Care launched as a response to feedback by a local task force chaired by Cook Children’s that studied the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) — that is, experiences like abuse or neglect, family violence, and mental illness. Working with more than 60 partners and advisers, the ACEs Task Force developed recommendations to help prevent and reduce adversities among children, particularly those under the age of 5. 

The task force determined that families most at risk for ACEs needed a more efficient way to access critical resources. 

“Texting is probably one of the best ways to communicate resources and information because people feel more comfortable texting than they do picking up the phone,” said Roderick F. Miles, a member of the ACEs Task Force and executive administrator in the Office of Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks. “Our vision is to keep people from falling through the cracks, and we do that by creating space for them to advocate for themselves and be their own navigators, their own social workers — and then they become advocates for other people and help them navigate through the process as well.”

TXT4 Tarrant Cares is offered in English and Spanish and available to anyone in Tarrant County. It does not offer emergency response (call 911 for that) nor services provided by calling 211. More information is available at tarrantcares.org.

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Samantha Calimbahin

Samantha Calimbahin is the managing editor at Fort Worth Magazine. When she’s not editing or making to-do lists for the magazine’s gazillion projects, she’s jamming on her guitar and planning her next trip to a Disney theme park.

Read more by Samantha Calimbahin

April 28, 2021

3:32 PM

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