Helping The Homeless

Find it In Your Heart To Help Today

It’s important to note that most homelessness is due to the lack of an affordable place to live. Statistics show that if you give the homeless affordable places to live, they will not return to homelessness. The most successful intervention is to provide short-term financial assistance so these individuals can get into a home. And to provide solutions — or “wraparound” services — so they can retain housing.

You might be surprised to know this about homelessness in Jacksonville:

■ According to a recent survey by the Homeless Coalition of Northeast Florida, there are 400 chronically homeless individuals in downtown Jacksonville alone.

■ 25 percent of the local homeless population is not from Jacksonville. They ended up here because they were following a job, hoping to get a job or other circumstances.

■ Veterans account for approximately 25 percent of our homeless population. Many are struggling with PTSD and are shelter averse. That means they won’t live among a large population in a shelter with noise, chaos and crowds. These individuals are best served through individual housing programs.

■ The cost to arrest and jail a homeless person includes $884 for booking and $62 per day to house them.

■ The average cost of a single chronically homeless person is $50,000 per year. That includes jail time, emergency room visits, social services and other costs.

■ It costs between $12,000 and $24,000 to provide a permanent supportive housing solution for that same individual.

So by providing affordable housing, these programs can save the community up to $30,000 per individual housed.

100 Homes Jacksonville, administered by Ability Housing, has housed more than 500 individuals across the region since 2012.

The Time To Reach Out is NOW. The Holiday Season is here and now is the Time to shed some CHEER!

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