Report Suggests Equal Numbers of Homeless Adults and Children in Leon County

By: Leonard Horton
By: Leonard Horton

At one time, Charsie Griffin had nowhere to go. It was the same case for Melissa Hooks. Both are residents of Tallahassee's Hope Community.

Charsie says, "One wrong move, one unpaid bill, you end up in a situation like this. It's real easy."

Melissa Hooks adds, "Things happen. You lose your job, get injured, can't work or other circumstances, you get evicted."

A new report shows about 156 families in Leon County have no home. The study released by the Tallahassee Coalition for the Homeless Tuesday outlines who is homeless,= and gives some explanation as to why.

The numbers showed more than 700 people in the area have no permanent residence. That breaks down to about 400 adults and close to 350 children without a home.

Wendy Crook, a researcher for the homeless survey, says, "We have slightly more children that we've found this year. We don't know if it's a trend of if we're just finding more."

Thirty two percent of respondents have some type of college education or had a degree. Twenty three percent were veterans.

Kay Freeman of the Tallahassee Coalition for the homeless says, "We know the lack of affordable housing is the number on reason for homelessness, the number one issue we need to address."

Freeman believes the Hope Community, which now houses nine families, will help bring the numbers down. Almost nine out of 10 respondents reported a household income of $1,000 or fewer per month.


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