Four Events Highlight Homeless Awareness Month in Broward County

One of the many pieces of art now on display in the Main Library from individuals who are or who have experienced homelessness in Broward County.

One of the many pieces of art now on display in the Main Library from individuals who are or who have experienced homelessness in Broward County.

DATE: November 6, 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Michael R. Wright, MPA, Broward County
Homeless Initiative Partnership Administrator
PHONE: 954-357-6167

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - This November, Broward County’s Homeless Initiative Partnership (HIP) is bringing attention to homelessness with four cooperative events designed to heighten awareness that will precede the upcoming annual Point-in-Time Count in January 2014. In a recent report to the state, Broward County's homeless population was indicated to be 3,801.

“November is National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Month and we want to start now to bring attention to the cause. While the Homeless Point-in-Time Count used to be conducted every other year, we are now doing this annually to get better results that help us to understand the needs of our community,” said Michael Wright, administrator of the Broward County Homeless Initiative Partnership.

Planned events in November are:

Homeless Initiative Artwork
A collection of nearly 50 pieces of artwork, consisting of drawings, paintings and pictures is on display through November 15 on the second floor common area of Broward County’s Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave.,
Fort Lauderdale. The collection is a compilation of work submitted by 14 individuals or families who have been or who are homeless. “We all have hidden talents,” Wright said, “and this show of artwork will reveal talents that usually are not readily visible by the public.” Hours are Monday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday and Wednesday, noon to 8 p.m.

100,000 Homes Campaign
Communities throughout the United States are identifying and finding homes for their most vulnerable and chronically homeless neighbors. Wright explains that members of the Homeless Initiative Partnership Board and other local agencies will be participating in a two-day “boot camp” designed to create a registry of homeless people in Broward County and line up a supply of housing and service resources to help them. “This is part of our Continuum of Care program,” Wright said. “We’ll register identified homes the week of January 22-29 with the goal of having the County’s chronically homeless off the streets by 2015.”

Persons Experiencing Homelessness Safety Education Initiative
Throughout November, volunteers with HIP coalition’s Safety Education Initiative will provide presentations at major feeding sites on “Staying Safe While Living on the Street.” Presentations, developed by a committee comprised of staff from eight provider agencies and four homeless consumers, will include safety tips, non-violent methods of escape and a whistle to alert others of an attack. “Until we can get all persons experiencing homelessness off the street and into housing, we want to ensure that they will be safe,” said Lorraine Wilby, chair of the committee.

Transgender Community Event: Accessing Services Meeting
The Homeless Initiative Partnership, Broward County Human Rights Section, along with several Florida Atlantic University professors and students are collaborating with the community to host Transgender Community Event: Accessing Services Meeting that will give service providers insight into issues transgender individuals may face attempting to access the County’s Continuum of Care. The meeting will be held Thursday, November 21, from 2 to 5 p.m., at The Pride Center at Equality Park, 2040 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Homeless Initiative Partnership within the Community Partnerships Division of the Broward County Human Services Department is the lead agency in the County for planning and coordinating services for homeless persons and families. Additionally, staff provides support to the Homeless Initiative Partnership Advisory Board and Homeless Providers and Stakeholders Council. For more information, call 954-357-6101 or visit Homeless Services.
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