Our “Homeless One-stop Resources & Services Center” is only of few gathering day place for people who are homeless in the City of Tampa to access services to help them get off the streets. Each day between 75 to 100 Homeless men and women including women with children visit Dream Builders Mission seeking a Hot Meal, showers, clothing, hygiene Items, a place to wash their clothes. Employment services, counseling and most of all a place to live to get off the streets. Our Center also have a partnership of homeless service providers that visit our center to interface with our homeless guests to determine what services they need that we do not offer on site and then make the appropriate referrals to these off-site services.
Homeless Individuals and families, including Veterans and Youths faces a number of substantial barriers to obtaining housing. Many suffer from co-occurring mental health and substance abuse issues that hinders access to housing and reentry into the workforce that can become mentally and emotionally challenging. Most homeless have not held a job in years, and many struggle with mental health disorders, including traumatic and anxiety disorders, that complicate their re-entry into employment and permanent housing. Many also face recent legal involvement and a lack of social and life skills that inhibit their reintegration process.
There is a major gap in services/lack of/shortages of services throughout the entire Hillsborough County as there are not enough shelter beds and Day Centers like our “Homeless One-stop Resources & Services Center” that the homeless can access and find help to get back on their feet. Many of the shelters here in Hillsborough County are only temporary overnight shelters, where they are required to leave early in the mornings and cannot return until later that same evening. This is where our Innovative and Comprehensive strategy comes in, where we send our buses to these shelters, pick up the homeless, and bring them to our day center for the supportive services they desperately need to find permanent housing.
We are embracing the challenging opportunities that are before us! We are strategically positioned, we have the heart and history of helping the homeless, and we have a plan to help even more in the future. The Homeless are calling out for our help – they are flocking to us for help – and we are ready to respond.
Our expansion Project : “Homeless Connect Mobile Outreach” will go the places where the homeless congregate, places such as soup kitchens, Metropolitan Ministries hot meal sites, parks where the homeless gathers and transport them to our center to access services they need to get off the streets.
Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative (THHI) street count
The Tampa Hillsborough Homeless initiative (THHI) the HUD’s Continuum of Care Lead Agency for Hillsborough County reported in their 2018 Homeless Annual Point-in-time (PIT) Street Count for Hillsborough Count including the City of Tampa; that there were:
1,795 people were experiencing Homelessness
1,155 were sheltered, living in Emergency or Transitional shelter
640 were unsheltered living in the streets
315 were Homeless veterans
55 were homeless youths.
Florida Dept. of Education in their 2017 Annual report stated:
That there are approximately 3500 children homeless in the Hillsborough County School District alone. These are children either living in shelters or living with family members or on the streets.
The Florida Council on Homelessness reported in their 2017 annual count that one night in January:
32,109 persons were living on the streets or in a shelter throughout the state
HUD’S Annual Street Count
The Housing & Urban Department (HUD) that administers the Federal Continuum of Care grants, reported in their 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report on Sheltered and Un sheltered Homeless in the United States on a single night in January 2017 was that:
553,742 People were homeless were experiencing homelessness
360,867 were staying in either an emergency or transitional shelter
192,875 were staying in unsheltered/living on the streets