The face of homelessness may be familiar. It could be a third grade teacher and single mother of two who struggles with childcare costs and living expenses on a $36,000 a year salary. It could be a retired military veteran with three graduate degrees and Pentagon experience. Yet he lives out of a van.
Or it could be a 9-year-old boy who goes to school with your fourth grader. More than 63,000 students were homeless during the 2011-2012 school year, according to a Florida public schools report. As a state, we can do better for future generations of Floridians.
Here, you'll find advocacy initiatives, public policy initiatives and local programs to address the homeless problem in Florida. We'll continually update the page with resources and information, so please keep checking back.
Spread the word and create awareness on your Facebook page
Use your Facebook cover image to highlight your commitment to ending homelessness in Florida.
Here’s how. Simply, replace your current FB cover with the following jpeg image:
Keep the conversation going!
The Florida Realtors Leadership Academy has taken the lead to create homelessness awareness in Florida. You can be part of the solution, too! Simply click on this link, and you'll be directed to a page where you can download a customizable layered Photoshop file that you can use as a banner on your business website and Facebook pages. Get the word out among your sphere of friends, customers and colleagues. Together we will make a difference.
Realtors Believe Tour
The Florida Realtors leadership team spent two months traveling the state and conducting meetings at each of our 13 districts to advocate, engage and collaborate with all of our members. Their goal was to raise awareness about the homelessness problem in our state. Mission accomplished!
The tour brought attention to real estate advocacy efforts and provided direction to our local Boards so that we can ensure that “Housing Matters” becomes more than just a slogan.
Sept. 22, 2014: Download the "Homeward Bound: Housing Homeless Floridians" policy and resource guide. (PDF)
Preview of forthcoming Policy & Resource Guide titled, “Housing Homeless Floridians” (PDF) A joint project of the Florida Housing Coalition and Florida Realtors.
Public Policy Initiatives
Florida Realtors 2014 President Sherri Meadows made homelessness a priority this year, and the association advocated for legislation that provides housing for extremely low-income and homeless populations and funds local homeless coalitions. HB 979 by Rep. Kathleen Peters (R-St. Petersburg) establishes challenge grants for local homeless coalitions, nonprofits and other agencies that assist the homeless, and will also provide these agencies with training and technical assistance. The Senate companion, SB 1090 by Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater), included a dedicated revenue source for homeless programs through the Department of Children and Families. While this provision didn’t make it into the final legislation, $4 million is provided for homeless programs in the 2014-2015 state budget. Effective July 1, 2014.
Local Initiatives:Read more
In the News
Homelessness Data by Florida Realtors' Districts: