Hope for the Homeless
By Michael Bornstein, City Manager
Homelessness is a national issue. Here in Palm Beach County, the Cities and the County are working to help. In 2012, an Interlocal Agreement was created that established the homeless resource center- The Senator Philip D. Lewis Center - located in the City of West Palm Beach and operated by the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County. As a participating City, Lake Worth and the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office have the ability to refer people to the center for assistance. The Homeless Coalition matches up available resources to various non-profits throughout the County with the needs of the individual.
There is a specific protocol that a sheriff’s officer follows when reaching out. This includes offering assistance to a homeless person if and only if that person wants assistance. They can then be transported - along with their belongings - to the Center. The trip is free of charge. The goal is to get help to people who want help.
This week Lake Worth will be the site of an outreach event, Project Homeless Connect, at the old Calvary Methodist Church on Federal Highway downtown. On Friday, January 22 the various service agencies in conjunction with the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County will engage in direct interaction with people to share information and discuss the programs available. Sheriff’s Deputies have been handing out flyers to the homeless encouraging them to attend. The hope is to help end their homelessness.
Did you know?
- Almost 2.5million youth under the age of 18 experience homelessness in America each year?
- Florida ranks 33 for how we address child homelessness?
- There are 1,421 individuals & families that are homeless in Palm Beach County on any given day?
- There were 3,248 students that were identified as homeless in April 2015?
- The average age of a homeless child in Palm Beach County is 7 years?
- Palm Beach County ranks #2 in Florida for children living in spaces not designed for human habitation?
In the past year, the Senator Philip D. Lewis Center of the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County has help:
- 1,022 individual get temporary housing
- 455 families get temporary housing
- 75 individual find permanent housing
- 233 families find permanent housing
To learn more about the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County, visit www.homelesscoalitionpbc.org