On the heels of last week's Point-in-Time (PIT) Count of people experiencing homelessness, the City of Tampa's Homeless Outreach Team is excited to share an update since its formation in 2021.
To provide a holistic approach to the affordable housing crisis, Mayor Jane Castor asked the Housing and Community Development (HCD) division to create a team dedicated to the homeless community. The team's accomplishments have proven its value from its inception to the present date.
Working jointly with the Tampa Police Department, the team canvasses the city to connect homeless individuals with the appropriate services and resources. On average, every year, HCD manages and distributes approximately $2 million to local non-profits that serve as the backbone of the ongoing effort to help the homeless community.
"With more than two dozen local non-profit organizations that provide shelter or other services, help is always available. The challenge is finding the right fit for each unique case," said Mayor Jane Castor. "Our Homeless Outreach Team and the Tampa Police Department help bridge the gap by building trust and channels of communication with homeless individuals who, with the right guidance, can attain stability."
Since the team's inception in mid-May 2022, it has contacted more than 1,000 individuals and provided nearly 4,000 services. Though the team connects individuals with programs and services offered across the city, Catholic Charities' Tampa Hope, launched in December 2021, is one of the newest shelters and service centers the team works with closely. Below are Tampa Hope's latest statistics from December 2021 to December 2022.
- Within this timeframe, Tampa Hope provided shelter to more than 500 individuals.
- More than 27% of them were successfully discharged to permanent housing.
- 12.6% of the 500+ individuals gained employment during their stay at Tampa Hope.
- 82% reported they have a substance abuse or mental health illness.
- 70% of the individuals were males.
- Their average length of stay is 75 days.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires Continuums of Cares (CoC) to conduct a point-in-time count of people experiencing homelessness. The Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative coordinates the count in Hillsborough County in partnership with CoC members, law enforcement, social service providers, city and county staff, the VA, and business and community members. The PIT count has been done annually since 2013. Click here to view the 2022 PIT count report.