By: Emily Johnson
January 31, 2014
Tallahassee, FL - The Big Bend Homeless Coalition released it's preliminary 2014 report on homelessness in Leon County. Volunteers surveyed homeless folks on Sunday, January 26, 2014. After analyzing the data collected it was determined that homelessness in down in Leon County. "We have a number that indicates we have about 800 people who were homeless on January 26Th," said Susan Pourciau, Big Bend Homeless Coalition Executive Director.
That number is down from 974 people that were recorded homeless in 2013 in Leon County. The data collected came from 1. Person surveys out in the field 2. The Homeless Management Information System and 3. Reports from partner agencies. The Big Bend Homeless Coalition says one of the factors in this year's count could have been the recent cold weather. "There were some mornings where we weren't able to send out volunteer teams. And there were other times that folks might be living in a tent in the woods, but they weren't there when we went to visit them," said Pourciau.
The Big Bend Homeless Coalition says the lower number could also be because of an improving economy and from resources available. Michael Gavin was a homeless veteran for more than two years. He said without the help from area organizations, he wouldn't never made it. "Michael you can rise above, let us help you," said Michael Gavin.
Gavin is now working to help get others out of homelessness. "No one can tell me because you're homeless that you can not rise above, but sometimes encouraging and giving the love that is shown as hope community can help people to rise above the worst circumstances to become a functional member of society," said Gavin.
For more information on other key data for this year's report you can contact the Big Bend Homeless Coalition by going to their website at www.bigbendhc.org
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