Fort Bend County database program aims to help people with special needs who wander

A Fort Bend County annex in Rosenberg, Texas, is seen in this undated file image. (KPRC)

SUGAR LAND, Texas – People with special needs in Fort Bend County can now benefit from a program that helps people get home safely if found alone or in times of emergency.

The Take Me Home Program involves the creation of a database to help people who may be unable to speak or properly identify themselves, or if they become disoriented or act in a manner that could be misinterpreted by first responders.

The system includes a current digital picture, demographic information and caregiver contacts. If a person in the Take Me Home system is encountered by a police officer, the officer can query the Take Me Home system, searching by name or by the person’s physical description.

Who is the eligible?

According to the Fort Bend website, Fort Bend County residents are eligible who have a cognitive impairment or disability that may affect their ability to communicate.

People that tend to be at risk for wandering may include people with disabilities such as Alzheimer’s, Autism, Dementia, Down Syndrome etc.

Individuals who do no qualify for enrollment include people with only physical disabilities, hearing impairment, vision impairment, anyone who is able to communicate via translator/interpreter and children who have not reached a developmentally appropriate age for speech.

The program also requires that anyone enrolling an individual or themselves be either a family member or legal guardian of the individual.

How does it work?

The information is placed in a database that can be accessed in a police vehicle or at the police station. If law enforcement Officers find someone who can’t communicate where he or she lives, they can search the database by description and return the person to their loved ones. The system also works in reverse — if a loved one goes missing, their picture and description are immediately available.

Take Me Home is voluntary for citizens who participate, and all information is kept confidential.

Click here to access Take Me Home Program.

About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.