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WUSF News Staff
Law & Order
Fri May 17, 2013
47 Percent Drop in Hillsborough County's Homeless Population
It was too good to be true. That's what some people thought after Hillsborough County found a drop in the number of homeless by nearly half in January. So they went back on the streets for another look.
So, almost 100 volunteers canvassed the county earlier this month. The surveying included birthdays, disabilities and the length of time they were on the streets. The final tally came to 2,275 homeless.
That's still a drop of 47 percent since the last count in 2011.
New Coalition CEO Maria Barcus says she was not part of the organization for the initial count.
"I definitely think that the police and the sheriff's department - having placed some of the officers to be homeless liaisons and to direct people to services as opposed to arresting them for a minor violation - has definitely helped, specifically the jail number," Barcus said.
She adds two federally-funded initiatives, established in 2011, specifically for homeless veterans also made an impact.
Hillsborough is now working on programs that aim to get all homeless families and veterans off the streets by 2015. Click Here for a more comprehensive look at the break down of Hillsborough's homeless population.
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