The Face of Homelessness

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The statistics:

  • There are over 200,000 homeless families in the U.S on any given night
  • Homeless families comprise 34% of the total U.S. homeless population
  • 1 in 45 children experience homelessness in the U.S each year. That’s over 1.6 million children
  • Florida ranks 43rd (50 being the worst) for number of homeless children

The misconception:

There is an existing misconception that single men and women comprise most of the homeless population. But that is not the case. The face of homelessness has changed over time. So has the Sulzbacher Center.

The Change:  IMG_9124

These statistics show that the face of homelessness is families.  The Sulzbacher Center has grown to meet the need of the evolving homeless population. When the Sulzbacher Center first opened its doors in 1995, The Sulzbacher only served single men. Since The Sulzbacher Center’s opening, the Sulzbacher Center developed to become Northeast Florida’s largest provider of comprehensive services for the homeless. The Sulzbacher Center provides men, women, and children with 3 nutritious meals a day and shelter for 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

The Sulzbacher Center, for example, also provides our residents with case management, career education, and health care. The Sulzbacher Center has greatly expanded its services to meet the need of the large number of homeless families in our community.

The Solution: Fittingly, as I was writing this, a woman with a young child knocked on our office door and asked me where she could sign up for shelter if she was homeless. I pointed her to the direction of our front desk but I couldn’t help but think to myself what will this woman and her son do when the Florida heat reaches its peak later in the day? What will they eat? Where will they sleep? These are the questions we need to ask ourselves when we see the homeless. We also need to ask ourselves how can we help the homeless to the best of our ability?

The problem of homelessness has changed. So must the solution. Serving and working to decrease the homeless population takes a head on, collaborative approach. It takes a community of partners and supporters. There isn’t a single person or organization that can solve the problem of homelessness on their own overnight. The Sulzbacher Center needs your help. If we all do our part we can help homeless families find the way home.