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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

11/14/2018: Changing Homelessness; Living Shorelines; Squat For Change

Cyd Hoskinson

Northeast Florida has seen a 27 percent drop in the number of homeless since 2009, according to a recent count that was done in Clay, Duval and Nassau counties.

Perhaps even more encouraging is there were 81 percent fewer homeless veterans, according to the Changing Homelessness report.  But the news wasn’t all good. The number of homeless families rose from 22 to 24 percent.

On Wednesday’s First Coast Connect Dawn Gilman, the CEO of Changing Homelessness joined us with a look at the statistics and what’s working.

Credit Changing Homelessness

Going Green: Living Shorelines

Rising costs from flooding and erosion are prompting more Americans, military bases and government agencies to opt for living shorelines to help improve water quality, support fisheries and also protect against storms and rising seas.

Unlike traditional methods like building bulkheads or seawalls, living shorelines incorporate natural protective elements. Materials can range from such things as sand and wetland plans to oyster reefs or submerged aquatic vegetation.

Related: Living Shorelines Are Being Created Along Florida's Coast

Our panel that explained the movement, benefits and components of the trend were:

Mike Shirley, Director of the GTM Reserve

John Upton, Features Journalist at Climate Central

Christine Angelini, Assistant Professor in Environmental Engineering Sciences at the University of Florida.

Credit The Palmer Family / Via Instagram
This Instagram photo of Donte Palmer squatting to change his son's diaper sparked the #squatforchange social media movement.

Squat For Change

It all started with a Jacksonville father just trying to change his son’s diaper in a men’s restroom.

Donte Palmer sparked a worldwide social media movement when his older son snapped a picture of Palmer squatting on the floor to change his younger son’s diaper because the men’s room didn’t have a changing station.

Palmer joined us with a look at how the #squatforchange movement took off and where it’s going as awareness is raised about the lack of changing tables in many men’s restrooms.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.