Far fewer Floridians are living on the streets, according to the Florida Department of Children and Families’ (DCF) Office of Homelessness. The most recent count shows a drop in the number of people in Florida with no shelter. In 2012, nearly 55,000 Floridians were homeless during a one day count. This year, just over 45,000 Floridians were living with no permanent residency, a sign the economy is improving.
“The drop in the homelessness count is great news for Florida,” DCF Secretary David Wilkins said. “Shelter is one of the most basic of needs and when families don’t have a place to call home, children suffer. Governor Rick Scott’s commitment to improving the economy and getting people back to work has reduced the number of people living on the streets by giving them more opportunities for consistent employment.”
Since 2007, the rate of homelessness in Florida has declined nearly 25 percent. Back then, Florida’s job market was suffering and more than 60,000 Floridians had no place to call home. As Florida’s job market improves and the unemployment rate declines, more people are finding permanent residency.
The report is a single day count of the homeless population in Florida. Despite the drop in the homeless population, too many children, families and US veterans remain homeless.
The governor and DCF’s Office of Homelessness will continue to look for ways to better improve living conditions for homeless Floridians through strategic planning and improving Florida’s economy.