Annual Homeless Census Taken In Jacksonville

Jan 25, 2017

Volunteers interview small group of homeless people on the front steps of the Eleventh District Enterprise Center on Union Street downtown.
Credit Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

Shawn Liu with Changing Homelessness sent the first groups of clipboard carrying volunteers out around 4 a.m. to canvass downtown.

That's because, Wednesday was when the nationwide homeless census — called the point-in-time count — was taken of people living in shelters and on the streets in Jacksonville. 

“Be on the lookout for any emergency situations," Liu instructed, "particularly someone who might be in distress, medical needs, so give us a call, we’ll take care of that.”

This year, Changing Homelessness and the Jacksonville non-profit Jasmyn are working together to find and talk to homeless young people.  Lauren DiAmico with Changing Homelessness said volunteers will be at the Landing Wednesday afternoon.

“Jasmyn has reached out to some of the youth in their program and they have a pretty good idea of some of the parks and different not-well-known areas that some of the youth will hang out at. So we’ll go and sort of meet them where they are and hopefully engage them that way."

Jasmyn provides support for 13 to 24 year old LGBT youth.

The information gathered in today’s point-in-time count will give local, state and federal agencies a snapshot of the size and scope of the country’s homeless problem.

Reporter Cyd Hoskinson can be reached at choskinson@wjct.org and on Twitter @cydwjctnews