Read the Survey of Best Practices from communities making a difference.
Read the Economic Impact Report on The Cost of Long-Term Homelessness in Central Florida.
Read the Study of Funding Best Practices recognized in cities who are reducing homelessness.
Read about how homeless Veterans are Finding Their Way Home in Central Florida.
Read about the statewide impact of homelessness in Florida.
The homeless among us have many different faces.
No one chooses to be homeless, yet the reality is there are many people who are experiencing homeless every night. In Central Florida, over 13,000 students were identified as being homeless in the tri-county area (Osceola, Seminole, Orange) during the 2014-2015 school year. The chronically homeless are visible on our streets downtown and in the woods. Ignoring the problem is not a solution. Housing people is.
There are 2 types of homelessness: Economic or episodic homelessness and chronic homelessness.
Many individuals and families experience economic homelessness due to job loss, health issues, or other hardships. Chronic homelessness on the other hand, is defined by HUD as an individual who is “either (1) an unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling condition who has been continuously homeless for a year or more, OR (2) an unaccompanied individual with a disabling condition who has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.”
The solution for chronic homelessness is permanent supportive housing.
The Central Florida Commission on Homelessness did an Economic Impact Study that showed doing nothing about homelessness was much more costly than putting people into housing. Permanent supportive housing provides a housing subsidy with wrap around case management service for healthcare, substance abuse, and mental health.
The solution for episodic or economic homelessness is affordable housing.
There is currently no state in the USA where a minimum wage job will pay for the rent of an apartment at fair market value. This has caused many families to double up with friends or relatives or to stay in hotels that are paid for by the week or by the month. Rapid-rehousing helps families get back into housing by providing flexible dollars for down payment and rent for a specific period of time. Case management support is offered for job search and financial management.
Domestic Violence is one of the top reasons for family homelessness.
Survivors of domestic violence are often cut off from family and friend networks as well as financial resources. In addition to housing, DV survivors also require safe housing away from their abuser.
Youth often pay the ultimate price.
Intervention services, housing options, and transitional support for the foster care system are strategies to end youth homelessness.
If we can educate ourselves on the true problems facing the homeless, we learn much more about how to address it appropriately in our community. The Central Florida Commission on Homelessness released a series of key reports between 2013 and 2015 to guide Central Florida’s community response to the issue.