WUFT News

Homeless census reports a decrease in street-dwellers

By on February 27th, 2013

Arielle Rolle-Polk reported for WUFT-TV.

After a census of the homeless population last month, the Alachua County Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry reports the count decreased from last year.

In 2012, there were 1,107 people living on the streets of Gainesville. Now, in February 2013, the street count is a total of 987.

The director of the coalition, Theresa Lowe, expressed concern for accuracy regarding the surveying methods used this year. The coalition only spent one day surveying homeless people, instead of two days, which it did last year.

The coalition had homeless participants surveying alongside coalition volunteers for $10 an hour. Their familiarity with common homeless hangouts and tendencies aided the coalition in acquiring more accurate numbers.

“They know where to look,” said Lowe. She recalled a homeless volunteer following a trail into the woods she would have never thought to pursue.

The coalition reported 477 homeless school children, an increase from the 316 recorded in 2012. This number doesn’t include school-age parents or siblings who aren’t in school.

“Parents don’t particularly want to advertise that they’re homeless,” Lowe said, which makes it difficult to conclude the exact amount of school-age homeless people. Lowe estimates the number is closer to 1,500.

Of all homeless children in Gainesville, 21.5 percent have been in foster care.

“It’s probably a result of instability at a very early age,” Lowe said. “Once they age out, they have no place to go.”

Lowe said part of the coalition’s funding is contingent on the poll’s findings, and it helps to create more programs to assist local homeless. Moreover, the survey increases awareness of the local homeless residents.

“By giving them numbers it helps change the face of homelessness,” she said.

The final report, which will contain more in-depth statistics, is incomplete but will be released during the first week of March.


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

Justice 3

Dog Supports Owner With Chronic Illness

Justice, a young Great Dane, not only functions as a service dog, but has the ability to detect illness and distress in the people around him. The dog was rescued by Fallin Turner, 17, who lives with scleroderma and Systematic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and relies on Justice for both emotional and physical support.


The Preservation Jazz Band takes the stage at the frank street fair Thursday evening on Feb. 26. The band is from New Orleans, Louisiana.

Jazz Band, Street Fair Draw Crowd To Downtown Gainesville For Frank Conference

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band performed on Bo Diddley Community Plaza on Thursday as part of a street fair. The fair was part of day three of the 2015 frank conference.


Construction workers from Superior Construction Company Southeast work on replacing the culvert underneath the Oakleaf overpass in Clay County on Wednesday, Feb. 11.

Oakleaf Overpass Closed During Culvert Construction

A deteriorated culvert failed inspection last month, closing the Overleaf overpass over State Road 23 until a new culvert is built. The construction has caused traffic issues and added to commute times.


Mishler rides Chief Free Spirit, and Cherry follows behind. Cherry, 7, is Chief Free Spirit’s daughter. Chloe Stradinger/ WUFT

Evangelical Cowboy Rides Through Gainesville As Part Of Larger Journey

Doc Mishler rides around the country on horseback preaching his Christian beliefs. He travels about 20 miles per day and rode through Gainesville on Monday.


Mike Myers, 68, illustrates how he created a notepad from an orange juice container. Myers said that the Repurpose Project is the culmination of his dream.

Repurpose Project Finds Success in New Location

After moving to its new location next to Satchel’s Pizza, The Repurpose Project has more than quadrupled in size and substance. The owners plan to expand with the additional space, adding a garden, play area for kids and an event area.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments