Point In Time survey offers glimpse into homeless population

Image of Shannon Nickinson - Editor, Progress + Promise —Shannon Nickinson - Editor, Progress + Promise —

Who are “the homeless” in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties?

There are people with mental illness. Some have substance abuse problems. Many are veterans. Some are domestic violence victims. 

That is according to data from the local 2013 Point In Time survey. The survey is done each January and is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

It is based on interviews done with homeless people and aims to provide a snapshot -- a point in time -- glimpse of some characteristics of an area’s homeless population. 

It is most likely not a full picture. Some interviewers may be better than others at eliciting responses; some may be more successful finding places where the unsheltered dwell and talking to them.

But it is data that local advocates use to then seek out funding and resources from the federal government and other entities to provide help to those who need it.

Tonight, Pensacola City Council will discuss repealing the so-called “blanket ban” that is part of the city’s no camping in public ordinance, passed last May.

A change.org petition and social media helped boost the story of City Councilwoman Sherri Myers’ effort to repeal part of the ordinance that prohibits people form covering up while sleeping in public spaces with a blanket, newspapers, cardboard or the like.

Late last week, Mayor Ashton Hayward’s office sent out a newsletter saying he had a personal change of heart about the “blanket ban,” which was part of the camping ordinance he championed.

The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall in council chambers.

Read the survey here. And the breakdown by subpopulation here


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