A little over two years ago, Mayor Lenny Curry created a team of experts and service providers and charged them to find solutions to end homelessness in Jacksonville.
Changing Homelessness just released new numbers that show the Mayor’s Downtown Homelessness Task Force is making a difference. The homeless rate has decreased by more than 9% from 2018 to 2019.
New data from Changing Homelessness shows that in 2018 in Duval County, there were 1,640 homeless persons. In 2019 that number decreased to 1,494.
“The City of Jacksonville is committed to working with our partners to end homelessness in our community,” said Mayor Lenny Curry. “My task force, along with innovative ideas like the Urban Rest Stop that opened just three months ago are having a profound impact on the lives of our community’s most vulnerable citizens. We are very pleased with the decrease and we are looking forward to watching the numbers continue to decline.”
In February of this year, the new Urban Rest Stop opened at the Sulzbacher Center in partnership with Mental Health Resource Center (MHRC). It provides important and needed services to some of our most vulnerable citizens. The program was made possible by a $120,000 City grant and includes case management services, showers, health care, meals and job assistance. Those in need have access to the location and its services Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This program accomplishes two goals set forth by the Downtown Homelessness Task Force: (1) increase service points to people experiencing homelessness during the day, and (2) increase the capacity of services for the homeless population. The task force, which includes representatives from Sulzbacher, Mental Health Resource Center, Catholic Charities, Changing Homelessness, Salvation Army, City Rescue Mission and many others worked collaboratively to identify and discuss the needs, gaps, offerings, and opportunities to address homelessness in downtown Jacksonville.
About the City of Jacksonville:
The City of Jacksonville is the largest city by land mass in the contiguous United States, serving approximately 850,000 residents. Located in Duval County, City of Jacksonville leadership includes the mayor and a 19-member City Council.