Leon County Commission tackling homelessness in upcoming workshop

Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 10:45 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Leon County Commission will meet with law enforcement and community partners for a workshop to address homelessness on May 23.

County Commissioner Bill Proctor said representatives from the Kearny Center, the Big Bend Continuum of Care and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office will be in attendance providing updates on wrap-around programs and services they’re spearheading to tackle the issue.

Proctor said the sheriff’s office has identified about 475 people without housing in Leon County. He said names and information of people experiencing homelessness are filed into an index.

“We are dealing with human life, vulnerable life,” Proctor said. “Affordable housing is going to be on the table, you have to deal with affordable housing as an element.”

Proctor said county leaders will also be working to address mental health services for the homeless community.

“These are the kinds of things we’re hoping to sharpen and make sure all of the service providers and those who we fund are doing the things that can maximize their impact in what is becoming a growing problem,” Proctor said.

Proctor said that any outcome may only be “putting a Band-Aid on the issue.” Addressing those “teetering” on the edge of becoming homeless will be a major goal for the meeting, he said. The local leaders also hope to ensure they have access to wrap-around services from the county.

“As we’re reaching the more heated months we’re going to see more of an expansion of people wandering,” the commissioner said. “We’re hopeful to bring all of our resources, consolidated to look humanely at a very difficult and vexing problem.”