There is an extreme shortage of affordable and available rental homes in Florida for low-income renters. Today, Florida is the state with the 15th largest homeless population. For every 10,000 residents in Florida, there are 13.2 homeless people. According to the most recent statistics shared by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness in January 2020, Florida an estimated 27,487 people in the state are homeless on any given day. The current number includes:
According to the Florida Department of Education, there were 63,846 school-aged children who experienced homelessness over the course of the 2020-2021 school year. Of this number, nearly 6,000 were unaccompanied homeless youth. Some of these children lived in shelters (4,871), some shared housing with others as a result of losing their homes (46,897), and many lived in motels (8,548).
Another large population in Florida at risk for homelessness are seniors, who make up nearly 30% of extremely low-income renter households in the state.
There are various reasons a person may find themselves faced with homelessness. Some of them are:
Due to the measures in the US to stop the spread of the COVID virus, some resources that the homeless usually depended on were removed. For example, homeless shelters either had to limit their capacity or close completely. These same restrictions caused social workers to stop servicing the homeless. Research showed that severe illness and death rates and exposure to COVID increased among the homeless during this period. This was because of the lack of hygiene, advanced age, and medical problems among the homeless.
There are homeless shelters all over the state of Florida. Some shelters only accept women and teens, and some of them work primarily with the LGBTQ+ community. Shelters in Florida are generally volunteer establishments and rely on funding to keep going. Find a shelter directory as well as some additional resources for homeless folks in Florida here.
There are various programs designed to help find and keep houses for the homeless or people at risk of being homeless.
This assistance model aims to immediately place homeless people and families in permanent houses without preconditions. This assistance also connects people to services that will teach them how to maintain housing stability and live independently.
This assistance is an adaptation of HF, which includes placing homeless people in rental houses and providing them with the necessary support services. It is not time limited. The aim is to help the homeless as much as possible until they don’t need supported housing anymore.
This assistance is also another application of HF. RRH helps the homeless regain housing stability. This is a temporary assistance and offers the minimum help to assist the homeless get stable housing.
This program is to help people who have lost or are at risk of losing their households. Its conditions are similar to RRH.
This assistance offers transitional housing to the homeless and services that help them learn the skills necessary to obtain stable housing. They are often utilized by people who are recovering from addiction or struggling with mental health problems. The programs often include therapy and community support.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website has some great links for further research, including information about food banks, emergency financial assistance for housing, and legal assistance.