Changing Homelessness

A Jacksonville homeless encampment on Jefferson St. is pictured.
Sydney Boles / WJCT News

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry announced Wednesday a new initiative to help the Downtown homeless population.


Orders to stay-at-home are nearly impossible to follow for the 500 homeless people living on Jacksonville’s streets.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT News

Changing Homelessness is looking for more volunteers to help with its upcoming summer homeless census.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT News

Changing Homelessness hopes the “third time’s the charm” when it comes to getting a federal grant to help homeless young people on the First Coast.

Left to right: Jacksonville Legal Aid Intake Director Missy Davenport, Northeast Florida Women Veterans President Deloris Quaranta, Changing Homelessness President/CEO Dawn Gilman and Head of Community Impact, Basic Needs at United Way Jeff Winkler.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Nearly one out of every seven women in Florida live in poverty, and that number is even higher in Duval County. Meanwhile, about 76 percent of single-parent families headed by women in Jacksonville are struggling to afford basic needs.

Abukar Adan / WJCT NEWS

  The Jacksonville nonprofit JASMYN is adding a new safety-net resource center to support homeless young people at its Riverside campus.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT News

Veteran homelessness has dropped 80 percent in Jacksonville since 2009, that’s according to a new report from nonprofit Changing Homelessness.

Florida State University

Friday on First Coast Connect we were joined on our weekly Media Roundtable by Florida Times-Union reporter Andrew Pantazi, WJCT contributor Charles Griggs, Jacksonville News and Daily Record reporter David Cawton and WJCT business analyst John Burr (01:05).  


Changing Homelessness CEO Dawn Gilman told us about the results of this year’s first-ever Veterans Surge (31:31).       

WJCT Morning Edition host Michelle Corum brought us a report on this weekend’s game of Petanque on Amelia Island (37:48).

Local student Chase Magnano of Ponte Vedra High School and winner of $50,000 on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” told us about JaxTHRIVE, the local non-profit he’s starting with his winnings. (41:13).   


We spoke with Midge Smith with San Jose Baptist Church about Friday night’s performance by the African Children’s Choir (46:00).

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT News

The Jacksonville nonprofit Changing Homelessness will conduct its first-ever summertime homeless census next week.

  Today on “First Coast Connect,” we heard about the upcoming count of the homeless in Jacksonville with Changing Homelessness CEO Dawn Gillman (00:57). We also spoke with Jay Rolfe (42:30) from Fortress Wealth Planning about new laws regarding fiduciary agents. 

homeless man on sidewalk
Mo Riza via Flickr

The Jacksonville nonprofit Changing Homelessness is asking for volunteers next month to help survey the city’s homeless population, especially those who once wore a uniform.

Today on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with Dawn Gilman (01:07), CEO of Changing Homelessness about a battling homelessness in the Northeast Florida. Our latest segment of “Moveable Feast” with Leigh Court of the Women’s Food Alliance featured Destination Planning owner Anne Urban (23:40). We remembered long-time Jacksonville attorney and environmental activist Bill Burton (37:16), who passed away Monday, and this month’s Women with Heart honoree is Nicole Thomas (45:16), CEO of Baptist Medical Center South. 


Joy Kader / WJCT News

Local organizations are joining forces to help the youngest and most vulnerable homeless people of the First Coast.

Monday on “First Coast Connect” we discussed the problem of homelessness among youths in the LBGTQ community with Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network executive director Cindy Watson; Dawn Gilman, chief executive officer of Changing Homelessness Inc.; and Kim Sirdevan, president and chief executive officer of the Youth Crisis Center. Flamingo Magazine publisher Jamie Rich told us what we’ll find in the spring edition of the publication and JTC Running president Larry Roberts gave us a preview of Saturday’s 40th edition of the Gate River Run.  

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

A Jacksonville homeless woman is speaking out about the city’s treatment of those who live without shelter. She recently wrote to Mayor Lenny Curry and the City Council.

Wendy Jenkins was spending Thursday morning at Hemming Park. It’s where she normally goes after waking up and then again after breakfast at Clara White Mission. She used to stay in shelters but said they feel like prison.

Mission House is being recognized by Jacksonville as the only day facility meeting the needs of the homeless by offering assistance at an individual level. It will host a community open house and tour Saturday, in honor of their 20th anniversary of service to the Beaches area. / 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. 

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

A memorial service was held in Jacksonville on Wednesday to remember two dozen homeless men and women who died in 2016.

Doug Orange, 51, works as a certified recovery peer specialist at the Sulzbacher Center, which provides shelter and services to Jacksonville’s homeless.  Orange was homeless for five years in his 20s. He said remembering those who died is important.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Duval County is well on the way to accomplishing its goal of reducing veteran and chronic homelessness to what’s called “functional zero” by the end of this year, the group Changing Homelessness announced Tuesday night.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT News

Around 50 volunteers with clipboards and umbrellas fanned out across downtown Jacksonville at 4 a.m. Wednesday to talk to as many homeless individuals as they could find outdoors.

They were participating in the annual point-in-time homeless count organized by Changing Homelessness, a local nonprofit that helps people living on the streets.

man walking down sidewalk
Chris Goldberg via Flikr

On Wednesday, volunteers in Duval, Clay and Nassau counties will visit places where homeless people are known to spend time as part of the annual point-in-time homeless count.

Dawn Gilman with Jacksonville’s Changing Homelessness says the yearly January census is a requirement for groups that get federal money to help the homeless. 

“We count both people that are sheltered and unsheltered,” Gilman says.  “So we’ll be counting people who are in emergency shelters, in transitional housing, as well as those who are on the streets, in the woods, under bridges and overpasses.”

Friends of Hemming Park via Facebook

Jacksonville officials are asking the operators of Hemming Park what kind of commitment the city must make to keep the park’s revitalization effort going.

homeless man on sidewalk
Mo Riza via Flickr

A memorial service was held in Jacksonville Monday morning to honor 20 homeless men and women who died this year.

Dawn Gilman, CEO of Changing Homelessness, says reading their names aloud was a way to honor their memory and recognize their value as human beings.

Lindsey Kilbride


At the Doubletree Hilton Hotel on the Southbank of Jacksonville, more than 100 people were getting settled at round tables, Thursday.

It was day one of the action camp called: ZERO 2016, an intense two-day event aimed at ending veteran homelessness.