Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust reports homelessness is down slightly in Miami-Dade County
The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust’s annual “Point-in-Time” census shows the number of unsheltered homeless individuals in Miami is down by two percent compared with January 2015. Specifically, 982 homeless persons were counted on January 21, 2016, compared with 1007 in January of 2015. The total number of sheltered AND unsheltered homeless combined is 4,235 this year compared with 4,152 last year.
“We are encouraged to see a downward trajectory in the street homeless count, but we also know that the economy, our great weather, and forces outside of our control can lead to fluctuations in numbers,” said Ronald L. Book, Chairman of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust. “The 2016 PIT reinforces that The Trust must stay focused on funding innovative programs and initiatives that focus on Housing First and have a permanent, long-term impact on homelessness.”
The “Point-in-Time” (PIT) homeless count covers all of Miami-Dade County including Miami Beach and as far North as the Broward County Line, and as far South as the Monroe County Line. The PIT is a mandatory census consisting of two components: a comprehensive geographic count of sheltered and unsheltered persons, and a collection of an informational survey from a random sample of the population. It is required by US Housing and Urban Development (USHUD) to count and survey the homeless nationwide on one day during the last ten days of January.
On January 21, 1306 persons experiencing homelessness were surveyed. Survey data points of note include:
- The total number of sheltered homeless persons in Miami-Dade increased from 3,145 to 3,253.
- Miami Beach experienced a 19% decrease in street homelessness (37 less lives on the street).
- Downtown Miami saw a 4% increase in street homelessness (an increase of 24 lives).
- South Dade, South of Kendall Drive to the Monroe County Line saw an 11% increase (7 more people).
- Unincorporated Miami-Dade County, North of Kendall Drive to Broward County Line, saw a 14% decrease in unsheltered individuals (a decrease of 19 lives).
- Of those surveyed, 375 or 32% said they came to Miami-Dade County within the last year.
- Forty-one percent said their cause of homelessness was due to employment/financial circumstances; 25% said their homelessness was caused by a disability, including alcohol and substance abuse.
While the PIT survey is only a sampling of persons experiencing homelessness, the data collected is designed to assist USHUD and The Homeless Trust in achieving the goal of ending homelessness.
About The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust: Founded in 1993, The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust is a county agency headed by a board of 27 volunteers which serves in an advisory capacity to the Miami-Dade County Commission charged with the responsibility of implementing the Miami-Dade County Community Homeless Plan. These volunteers represent the business, religious, educational, provider and political communities, along with formerly homeless individuals. For more information regarding The Homeless Trust visit www.homelesstrust.org.