Fort Lauderdale has been in hot water this year regarding its treatment of the homeless population, especially after the enactment of ordinances -- called "homeless hate laws" by detractors -- designed to drive homeless people out of town, or at least out of sight.
People around the world were quick to complain after 90-year-old Arnold Abbott was arrested for violating one of the new laws and feeding in public. Members of the public who really want to help can volunteer to find, count, and survey homeless people in Broward County next month. Many grants are funded based on demonstrable need, so it's important to have an accurate count of how many people are on the streets.
Broward County's goal is to to end veteran homelessness by 2015, chronic homelessness by 2016, and family and youth homelessness by 2020; and they are asking for your help in taking the first step in reaching these lofty goals.
The Broward County Homeless Initiative Partnership is seeking 200 volunteers to assist the Homeless Continuum of Care with the collection of data of the 2015 Broward County homeless population. Help is needed Monday night, January 26, through Wednesday, January 28, 2015 with the Point-In-Time (PIT) Count Survey and Zero 2016 Registry; both projects aim to create a registry of homeless people in Broward County that will help better supply those in need with a supply of housing and service resources to help them end their homelessness.
Those interested in volunteering must attend a mandatory orientation session that will help provide coordination procedures, safety measures, survey tool education, and training for the upcoming project. Orientations will be held on three separate dates at various locations across the county on the evenings of January 13 - 15, 2015. Volunteers attending orientation will sign up for their specific count location and shift time upon completion of the briefing on these dates.
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Broward County's goal is to count every homeless person and ask them to complete a survey. Up-to-date information is needed to gain knowledge of persons experiencing homelessness .The results of these completed surveys will help the County and State substantiate need for all federal and state grants; which in the end will help them get needed resources to assistance to the homeless via the The Homeless Continuum of Care initiative.
The Homeless Continuum of Care is a network of organizations, advocates, residents and businesses that provide programs that put in place a full range of emergency, transitional and permanent housing, as well as services that help prevent homelessness.
Those looking to help must have their own transportation, and be comfortable walking and interacting with persons living on the streets.
Volunteers can contact Sander Schrantz at Sander@handsonbroward.org for additional information. For more information, call 954-357-6101 or visit Homeless Services.