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

BqcMUJ0CcAAuJrS

2 Shot at Apartment Complex, Police Find Suspect Dead

Update 8:30 p.m.: GPD has reported that Gerald Hall has been apprehended. Updates as they are available. Earlier: Update 10 a.m., June 19: GPD is now seeking another suspect in the shooting. Gerald Hall, 43, is wanted for questioning for [...]


For The Women Released After Arrest of CPA, Recovery Just Beginning

A well-known Alachua County accountant has been charged with three counts of human trafficking for keeping women in captivity, offering drugs in exchange for sex and house cleaning.


Group Expanding Investigation into GRU Fee Tax

Seniors vs. Crime is now looking into taxes on gas and water surcharges collected by Gainesville Regional Utilities. The group was previously only investigating a complaint about a tax on electric customer charges collected by GRU.


The fee controversy centers on whether the 10 percent municipality tax should be assessed on the electric customer charge. See the complete GRU bill breakdown.

City Responds to GRU Complaint on Fee Tax

The City Attorney and attorney representing Gainesville Regional Utilities have concluded the tax on the electric customer charge is justified.


The new Fisher House located at 5106 NW 8th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32605. Just across the street from the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center

New Fisher House will Provide Lodging to Veterans’ Families

The new Fisher House in Gainesville will allow families of veterans undergoing treatment at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center a place of comfort during treatment.


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