GIVE A HAND UP, NOT A HAND OUT
The main goal of the initiative is to provide homeless
individuals and families access to comprehensive services.
Homelessness is a social and economic issue that affects everyone - children, families, social service providers, government agencies, and society at large. The City of Clearwater supports local social service providers who address the root causes of homelessness. In fact, the city has contributed over $4M to such local organizations in the last five years. We have initiated and maintain a comprehensive, holistic approach and have formed a Homeless Committee that consists of directors and staff who frequently address the needs and impact of the homeless population.
- The Department of Children and Families Council on Homelessness was created in 2001 to develop policies and recommendations to reduce homelessness in Florida. The Council's mission is to develop and coordinate policy to reduce the prevalence and duration of homelessness, and work toward ending homelessness in Florida.
- The 2016 Point-In-Time Count reported 2777 homeless persons in 2518 households in Pinellas County.
- The total number of homeless individuals reported to HUD this year was 2777. A majority of these were adults over the age of 24 (85.7%), male (73%), non-Hispanic (93.4%), and either White (63.2%) or Black (31.7%).
- 379 veteran households.
- 603 chronically homeless individuals, 98 of which were veteran individuals.
- 2 chronically homeless families.
- 23.2% of adults reported a serious mental illness, while 22.4% reported a substance use disorder and 1% reporting HIV/AIDS.
- Employment/financial reasons (61.8%) and family problems (19.9%) are the most often cited causes of homelessness.
- 26.6% report staying in the county one week or less prior to becoming homeless while 61.2% report having resided in the county one year or longer.
- Individuals responding to the street survey report mainly staying in either Saint Petersburg (61.6%) or Clearwater (21.2%).
- There were an additional 239 individuals in the street survey, 478 in the jail data, and 2813 in the school data that did not meet HUD criteria. These data provide insight into the number of people who are couch surfing, living in a hotel/motel, hospitalized, in jail, or awaiting foster care who may be at risk of homelessness in the future.
To report an incident or illegal/suspicious behavior, please call the non-emergency Police line, (727) 562-4242, option 1. If you see an emergency situation, call 911. To reach the Clearwater Homeless Services Street Outreach Team, please call (727) 219-0909. www.211tampabay.org.
How Can You Help?
Supporting local social service providers is the best way to help and potentially offer a real life change to someone in need. A donation of $100 can provide approximately one week of transitional housing with intensive professional services for someone in need. The following organizations are some of our local partners in Clearwater:
- Directions for Living, 1437 S. Belcher Road, (727) 524-4464, www.directionsforliving.org
- HEP (Homeless Empowerment Program), 1120 N. Betty Lane, (727) 442-9041, www.hepempowers.org
- Pinellas Hope - Catholic Charities, 5726 126th Avenue N., (727) 556-6397, www.pinellashope.org
- Pinellas Safe Harbor, 14840 49th Street N., (727) 464-8058, www.safeharborpinellas.org
- RCS (Religious Community Services), www.rcspinellas.org
Additional non-profits, social service providers, and programs in Pinellas County that work with homeless or at-risk of being homeless individuals, families, and children:
- RCS Food Bank, 700 Druid Road E., (727) 443-4031
- RCS Grace House, Emergency Shelter for Families, 1552 S. Myrtle Avenue, (727) 446-5964
- The Haven of RCS, Domestic Violence Services, 24 hours/7 days a week, (727) 442-4128
- RCS Thrift Store, 290 East Bay Drive, Largo (727) 531-6266
- The Salvation Army of Upper Pinellas, 1521 Druid Road E., (727) 446-4177, www.salvationarmyflorida.org/clearwater
- Pinellas County Homeless Leadership Board, Susan Myers - CEO, 647 1st Ave. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33701, (727) 582-7916, www.pinellashomeless.org
- Boley Centers, 445 31st Street N., St Petersburg, (727) 821-4819, www.boleycenters.org
- Clearwater Free Clinic, 707 N. Ft. Harrison Avenue, Clearwater, (727) 447-3041, www.clearwaterfreeclinic.org
- Daystar Life Center, 226 6th Street S., St Petersburg, (727) 825-0442, www.daystarlife.com
- PEMHS (Personal Enrichment through Mental Health Services), 11254 58th Street N., Pinellas Park, (727) 545-6477, www.pemhs.org
- WestCare GulfCoast of Florida Inc. - A Turning Point, 1801 5th Avenue N., St. Petersburg, (727) 502-0188, ext. 333,