EDUCATE OTHERS BY KNOWING THE FACTS
There are many misperceptions and unhelpful stereotypes associated with homelessness. For instance, many people believe that people experiencing homelessness are mainly male with disabling conditions, substance abuse problems, and fundamentally are to blame for their homelessness.
In reality, homelessness touches men, women, children, families, and youth in our communities. In fact, homelessness amongst families with children is the fastest growing homeless population. It is important to consider these numbers in understanding who is touched directly by homelessness in our community (Council On Homelessness, 2015):
Nationally and in Florida, over 30% of those experiencing homelessness are female;
Roughly 1/3 of homeless people are in families with children;
Nationally nearly one-third of all homeless people are children and youth; Florida school districts identified 73,417 children and youth who were homeless or unstably housed;
For 2015-2016, Brevard County School District reported over 2,000 students coded as homeless throughout the year. This number includes families that have lost their housing and are staying with family and friends.
There are few, if any, options for an intact family to be sheltered in Brevard County. Family Promise of Brevard is the only emergency shelter program designated for intact families with a father, or a mother with a male child over the age of 12.
There are a host of issues that may lead to homelessness, including job loss, family crisis, disabilities, and struggles with mental health and substance abuse. While the ‘public face’ of homelessness is often those experiencing long-term chronic homelessness, the reality is that this problem spans demographics and populations in our communities (Council on Homelessness, 2015):
The primary cause of homelessness is the lack of available, adequate, and affordable housing.
Lack of employment;
Financial struggle or crisis
Issues related to substance abuse and mental health
Family crisis and problems
Lack of a safety net and structure of care for those in crisis
How do we make a difference in our community?
Support cost-effective organizations, like Family Promise of Brevard, that help move families from homelessness into housing. 85% of our families have moved into housing in an average of 32 days.
Create more affordable housing opportunities in our community. If you are a landlord, consider partnering with our Brevard Homeless Coalition as part of our Coordinated Assessment System.
Create more employment opportunities designated for the parents of families experiencing homelessness. If you own a business, consider partnering with organizations, like Family Promise of Brevard, that are trying to help parents establish income.
Support legislature that focuses on ending homelessness in Brevard County.