‘Point in time” census counts homeless in Sarasota and Manatee County
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -Suncoast organizations are conducting a 2023 “Point in Time” census in Sarasota and Manatee counties. The census is done to obtain an unduplicated count of individuals and families in Manatee and Sarasota Counties and is a comprehensive street-based and service-based survey designed to identify how many people are homeless at a given point-in-time.
This census is facilitated through the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness (SPEH) in partnership with Turning Points. Volunteers through Turning Points are surveying individuals throughout Manatee County while volunteers through SPEH are surveying in Sarasota County.
Turning Points volunteer Tina Juillerat said the survey is “a unique outreach opportunity because if you are going to go through all the trouble of going out and doing this count and you’re encountering many homeless people along the way, It’s really a wonderful opportunity for outreach and trying to bring those people who currently aren’t receiving any resources or services, into the system.” The survey is conducted on the streets and other locations where individuals experiencing homelessness can be found and at service provider locations in every city, school district and in unincorporated areas in Manatee and Sarasota Counties. Adults, children, and unaccompanied youth will be counted in the reports to be submitted to HUD and State of Florida.
While the Department of Housing and Urban Development requires communities across the country to complete a census on homelessness in their area every two years, Manatee and Sarasota counties conduct it every year. The survey helps:
- Respond to the unmet needs and gaps in services for homeless individuals and families in Manatee and Sarasota Counties;
- Develop local community and bi-county strategies to meet the goal of ending homelessness; and
- Obtain federal funding and thousands of state and local dollars to better serve homeless individuals and families in our community.
In Sarasota and Manatee counties last year, more than 1100 homeless people were counted, with 594 in Manatee County and 544 in Sarasota County--more than double the 526 homeless individuals counted in both counties in 2021.
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