DATE: May 13, 2013
CONTACT: Michael Wright, Administrator
Broward County Homeless Initiative Partnership
The Broward County 2013 Point-in-Time Count, conducted in a 24-hour time period on January 24-25, identified that 2,810 individuals and families were homeless according to the federal definition of homelessness: they were living in places not meant for human habitation, emergency shelters or transitional housing programs. The count is required by U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Florida's Office on Homelessness.
An additional 783 were counted as “at-risk” of homelessness, which is generally defined as an individual or family seeking permanent housing but who stayed the previous night at an institution; a hotel paid by self; a jail, prison or detention center; a family or friend’s house; or were facing imminent eviction; or in foster care.
The total number of sheltered and unsheltered persons experiencing homelessness in Broward County decreased by 12 percent, from 3,183 to 2,810; and the number of unsheltered persons decreased by 35 percent from 1,268 to 829, based on HUD's biennial point-in-time count and survey as compared to the same count done in January 2011-12.
The Broward Regional Health Planning Council (BRHPC), Hands on Broward, 2-1-1 Broward and the Homeless Initiative Partnership Advisory (Partnership) Board headed up the 2013 Point-in-Time Count effort in collaboration with approximately 190 volunteers, consisting of County staff, homeless services agencies, law enforcement agencies, individuals, advocates, faith-based, foster care providers, youth and community-based organizations. Trained volunteers fanned out across the County to homeless encampments, labor pools, meal programs and homeless shelters. The results were tabulated by Dr. Patrick Hardigan of Nova Southeastern University.
Pablo Calvo of BRHPC notes that counting homeless individuals and families in a 24-hour period is challenging and families often don’t come forward due to fear of having their children removed; unsheltered homeless individuals move camps frequently to avoid detection and can be difficult to locate; and some refuse to be counted despite reassurance as to the purpose of the data.
The Partnership Board identified the following as contributing factors for the reduction in this year’s count:
• successful programmatic efficiencies implemented during the past two years; and
• lack of participation by non-continuum affiliated agencies/programs.
"The Partnership Board will analyze this year’s data/effort and establish objectives to address new and existing challenges and meet the needs of homeless residents. The Partnership Board takes this opportunity to thank all who participated in making the 2013 Homeless Point-In-Time Count a success," said Michael Wright, administrator for the Broward County Homeless Initiative Partnership.