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Hillsborough County Launches a New Plan For The Homeless


It appears that Hillsborough County is moving to make changes in the way it deals with the homeless. 

County Administrator Michael Merrill recently observed how St. Louis has made progress in effectively dealing with the homeless. Merrill says working toward ending the problem needs to be a group effort.

“The key point was that it's a community problem, community challenge that has to be solved by the entire community, not just by the government and that it does require time to remedy,” Merrill said. “It's based on the approach of finding permanent housing for homeless individuals.

“The model historically has been for local government cities, and/or counties to run those programs,” Merrill said. “But the programs that we have found that are more successful like the St. Louis program are where the services are provided by the non-profit community.”

On Thursday, county commissioners approved the first step in Merrill's plan to revamp the county's temporary shelter program by signing a $1.18 million contract with Tampa-based nonprofit Metropolitan Ministries.

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