Every year the Lee County Homeless Coalition conducts what’s called a Point In Time, or TIP, census to count individuals and families who are homeless. The information they collect is given to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and helps determine what services are required to meet the needs of the county’s homeless population. This year’s count, which was conducted on January 20th, found a 68% increase in total homeless individuals, a 136% increase in total homeless households with children, and a more than 100% increase in the number of chronic homeless. We’re joined by the coalition’s executive director, Janet Bartos, to try to get a handle on what these increases mean, and what they’re seeing on the ground as we enter the summer.
We’re also joined by Christine Welton, she is Executive Director of the Hunger & Homeless Coalition of Collier County. They also conducted a Point In Time Count back in January. It found a 38% increase in the number of homeless children in the county, up to 1,215 from 881 the year before, and they also added a new category this year for homeless seniors.