In an effort to combat homelessness and decrease the homeless population, Leon County Commissioners and Tallahassee City Commissioners met on July 13, 2021 in a joint workshop with the Big Bend Continuum of Care (BBCoC).
The officials allocated a total of $6.2 million in funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to address the issue.
The city and the county entered into a contract with the BBCoC and committed $1.4 million. The Big Bend Continuum of Care will use the dedicated funds for street outreach, rapid rehousing, and permanent support housing.
Additionally, a new Homeless Services Category under the Community Human Services Partnership (CHSP) was established, and will receive a one-time benefit of $3.4 million.
The CHSP is the joint planning and funding distribution process for human services grant allocations. There are about six homeless service programs, run by non-profit organizations, which are funded through several categories supported by the CHSP. The CHSP currently has $797,193 for the FY2021.
The remaining $1.7 million of the ARPA funding will support local homeless shelters, such as Kearney Center, Big Bend Homeless Coalition, and Capital City Youth Services.
According to the collaborative report presented during the joint meeting, the data for 2021 indicates there are 621 people experiencing homelessness in Leon County, a decrease of 29% or 184 people from last year. Of those 621 individuals, 197 of them are chronically homeless, which is defined as persons who have been homeless for at least a year or repeatedly while experiencing a disabling condition which makes it difficult to maintain housing.
The report also indicated that over the last year, there has been a 13% increase in homelessness among veterans and a 33% increase in recidivism in homelessness.
Amanda Wander, the Executive Director of the BBCoC, stressed that the meeting was just a beginning She said the keyword is “bold, and bold is what we need to be today to make a difference.”
During their discussion, it was noted that the funds being allocated were not going to be made available until October 2022. City Commissioner Jack Porter and County Commissioner Kristin Dozier voiced concerns regarding the process and the length of time it will take to get the funds to those who are in need. Both commissioners agreed that 15 months is too long to wait.
Additional discussion ensued regarding other options that may help keep individuals experiencing homelessness from interacting with law enforcement or committing crimes. One idea was to set up a permanent camp for individuals to seek shelter instead of settling in the woods or on private property.
Also, mental health issues and how to better help homeless veterans was discussed at length.
Abena Ojetayo, the Director of City Housing and Community Resilience, acknowledged that this is only the beginning, and the commissioners and staff have a broad conversation ahead of them.
Ojetayo stated that, “we are in such an important stage right now, our partners are all at the table and you all have the incredible burden, but also the privilege to usher us into some really bold steps.”
Liberals: Excitedly waving one hand to pick up the tab while the other hand is reaching into *your* pocket.
There is growing and quite legitimate concern amoung local pastors that they are not on the list to receive their share of this latest financial boondoggle.
How dare you Elected Nannies throw out tradition and stiff the pastors?
Have you lost your ever loving minds? There will no longer be any more all critical traditional pressure from the pulpit to get the minority Democrat vote out as in the election cycles of the past.
You Elected Nannies have made a serious blunder by not cutting our local pastors a generous slice of the latest local favorite bakery treat. Where is our slice or two of your latest tax and spend pie? Serious error on your part Nannies. Now get busy with a re-do on the allocation of those slices of pie!
Seeing that Tallahassee and Leon County can’t abide by their own building codes as referring to the Boulos Corporation development on Apalachee Parkway for one example and basic landscaping countywide cannot be maintained I don’t think this will solve the problem at all… Only escalate it and sex trafficking.
And I will bet that every Dime of will be wasted spending.
I think it would be interesting information if someone were to go back say 20-years, an total the amount of tax dollars that have been wasted on feckless “solutions” to a solution-less reality.
It’s sad how millions of illegal aliens get free housing, EBT cards, Medicare, education, $4000 in cash each, free transportation to their destination of their choice, and a temporary ID in order to register to illegally vote… just for breaking our laws. Yet millions of American veterans, families, and children sleep on our streets, and according to the DemoKKKrats, black people aren’t even smart enough to get an ID card or find their polling place.
Wake up America… before it’s too late.
Wow, the graft is rampant.
It would have been better to stroke a check for $6,000.00 for each of the 621 homeless persons (3,726,000.00). Purchase a bus ticket to Los Angeles CA at $301.00 for every person that received a check (186,921.00). This would cost the Leon County taxpayers $3,912,921.00, which would save them 2.2 million dollars.
As long as we have money they will take.
That’s just my 2 cents, that’s about all I have left.
House the homeless in your backyard!
Ain’t going to happen
This 6.2 million will go a long way towards dramatically increasing the numbers of homeless people flocking to our City and County to get some of that money and services.
We should archive the Wise Commisioners goal of quadrupling our homeless population prior to the mid term elections.
It will be a piece of cake to get them all to vote Democrat and we can pad the homeless vote as much as needed to win by fudging our surveys of how many are here.
This will go a long way in locking the Tall/Leon area into all Democrat politicians for the next 150 years.
Whoo Hooo our leaders are going to celebrate this great political victory long and hard at the Amelia Island Sex Drug Alcohol fueled retreat this year more than ever. Might even bring that Gillum fellow along to the retreat to oversee the Drug, Alcohol, and of course the Sex Sex Sex aspect of the retreat. Whoo Hooo!!!!
The way to deal with it is to make them unwelcome in the community, they will find another place to settle. Housing and feeding them beckons more to land on our shores.
This has not worked in San Fran, Seattle, Portland and countless other cities.