Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust reports total homeless numbers hold steady between 2014-2015
"iCount" census of homeless youth has the most robust outcome to date
The results of the semi-annual “Point In Time” (PIT) homeless census, led by the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, shows overall homeless rates in Miami-Dade remain relatively stable, but important shifts were noted in where the County’s homeless reside. The 2015 data is the result of the annual PIT census required by the US Housing and Urban Development. The census includes all individuals and members of families who are experiencing homelessness in shelters and on the streets.
Conducted on January 22, 2015, the PIT identified a total of 4,152 sheltered and unsheltered homeless in the County compared with 4,156 last year at the same time. Shifts can be seen in where the homeless population resides: there were 3,145 people in shelters in 2015 compared with 3,316 in 2014, but more were counted on the streets this year, 1007 in 2015 compared with 840 in 2014. Although officials have not been able to pinpoint one reason for the increase in the street homeless population, many variables can contribute to such increases such as weather in other parts of the U.S.
“We’ve had significantly more pleasant weather compared to last year, which might have contributed to the street population, but on the table is the impact of the $700,000 in local funding that was shifted away from our programs and services in 2014. We believe that impacted trends as well,” said Ronald L. Book, Chairman of the Homeless Trust. “Regardless, these numbers should be a reminder to everyone that we must work together as a community, committing our resources only to programs and services with a proven track record of getting people off the streets and living productive lives.”
From the Broward County Line to Homestead, more than 100 professionals and volunteers took to the streets to identify and count every person living on the streets and in shelters. Census tallies will be reported to US-HUD.
On the same day as the PIT Count, the second annual “iCount”, a weeklong survey of unaccompanied youth under age 25, was launched. In cooperation with the Miami Coalition for the Homeless, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Pridelines, Alliance for GLBTQ Youth, Lotus House, Educate Tomorrow, Switchboard of Miami and the University of Miami, close to 400 surveys were received between July 22 – July 28, the most surveys collected to date. Results of the survey will be evaluated and analyzed in the coming weeks to better understand the needs of unaccompanied minors and young adults.
About The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust: Founded in 1993, the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust is a county agency headed by a board of 27 volunteers which serves in an advisory capacity to the Miami-Dade County Commission charged with the responsibility of implementing the Miami-Dade County Community Homeless Plan. These volunteers represent the business, religious, educational, provider and political communities, along with formerly homeless individuals. For more information regarding The Homeless Trust visit www.homelesstrust.org.