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Issues and Voices that Matter May 6, 2010

On Being…Homeless in Seminole County: The Problem & the Players, part-1

Part 1: On Being..Homeless in Seminole County -- The Problem & the Players

In part-1 of a new feature titled “On Being…Homeless in Seminole County,” we talk with Cathy Jackson, executive director of the Homeless Services Network (HSN) of Central Florida. In a wide-ranging interview she defines the homeless problem in Seminole County and identifies other institutional players at work addressing the dilemma of homelessness. Feature length – 23:49


Play
(Produced, reported and edited by Stephen McKenney Steck)

HSN is a major player in Central Florida helping to coordinate, manage, measure and partially fund a multitude of small and big service agencies in Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties which daily grapple with aiding the homeless.

In Part-2 of the series (tentatively set to post on 5/27/10) we will feature voices from our homeless population and hear their stories. And in part-3 (to post on 6/17/10) we’ll learn about possible solutions to better serve our homeless.

In 2009, close to 2000 individuals in Seminole County experienced homelessness and, according to Jackson, on any given night in the county, there are 700 homeless people sleeping in more than 70 camps or in cars or vans, behind trash dumpsters, or doubled-up with other families in apartments. Shelter beds and transitional housing beds accommodate the remainder. Jackson notes the economy and the war abroad account for a local increase in homeless numbers for families and veterans. In Seminole County public schools 1,140 students were considered homeless as of April 2010. This is an increase from 600 just 2-years ago.

Jackson says that 30% of the homeless in Seminole have been such for more than 1 year; 25% from 3-months to a year. Fifty-three percent of the homeless are white. Thirty-five percent are African-American and 20% are military veterans. Thirty percent have a post-secondary education level.

Hear more of the problem in this interview with Cathy Jackson in part-one: The Problem and the Players.

Extended Interview & Pictures

Click on the picture(s) to enlarge.
Cathy Jackson,  executive director, Homeless Services Network of Central Florida (photo:CMF Public Media)
Cathy Jackson and Stephen McKenney Steck
executive director, Homeless Services Network of Central Florida
Extended interview (1:14:37)

Play
Cathy Jackson,  executive director, Homeless Services Network of Central Florida (photo:CMF Public Media)

Additional Feature Information

Additional web links presented in the order addressed in the feature interview with Cathy Jackson:

Links to features produced by CMF Public Media addressing issues related to homelessness

Other useful links

5 Responses to “On Being…Homeless in Seminole County: The Problem & the Players, part-1”

  1. [...] on the Central Florida Matters program by the Carroll McKenney Foundation for Public Media: In part-1 of a new feature titled “On Being…Homeless in Seminole County,” we talk with Cathy Jackson, [...]

  2. Debbra Groseclose says:

    My name is Debbra Groseclose and I am the Executive Director of Pathways to Home in Seminole County and the Director of Prevention for Community Based Care of Seminole. I listened to your current interview with the HSN Executive Director and was disappointed that she did not identify Pathways to Home as the most significant work currently happening in Seminole County. We do have a homeless services program in Seminole County and a strong Board of Advisors for Pathways to Home. The community collaborative of 14 partner agencies provide comprehensive case management services to homeless families with children. We have 20 case managers and 4 staff members all connected through a web based program to eliminate duplication of services and a no wrong door approach for families. In addition, our evaluation program has been designed in partnership with Northland Church, USF, UCF and Health Council of East Central Florida to measure program and collaborative effectiveness. The Pathways Program kicked off in January of 2010 and since that time we have 32 families & 122 children in the program. We have stably housed and continue to work with 13 families with 30 children. We ARE the current homeless services program in Seminole County and we currently receive no funding from the HSN.

  3. fr john bluett says:

    i am very much involved with the homeless in seminole co. i would like to talk with carrol mckenney. # 4076995683..thank you fr john

  4. [...] Public Media has continued its series “On Being… Homeless in Seminole County”. In part 1, HSN’s own Cathy Jackson was featured. In part 2, the focus is on three homeless people [...]

  5. My name is Debbra Groseclose and I am the Executive Director of Pathways to Home in Seminole County and the Director of Prevention for Community Based Care of Seminole. I listened to your current interview with the HSN Executive Director and was disappointed that she did not identify Pathways to Home as the most significant work currently happening in Seminole County. We do have a homeless services program in Seminole County and a strong Board of Advisors for Pathways to Home. The community collaborative of 14 partner agencies provide comprehensive case management services to homeless families with children. We have 20 case managers and 4 staff members all connected through a web based program to eliminate duplication of services and a no wrong door approach for families. In addition, our evaluation program has been designed in partnership with Northland Church, USF, UCF and Health Council of East Central Florida to measure program and collaborative effectiveness. The Pathways Program kicked off in January of 2010 and since that time we have 32 families & 122 children in the program. We have stably housed and continue to work with 13 families with 30 children. We ARE the current homeless services program in Seminole County and we currently receive no funding from the HSN.

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