//Sarasota Starts to Take the Homeless Seriously…..

Sarasota Starts to Take the Homeless Seriously…..

How is the City of Sarasota and Sarasota County dealing with the homeless population? In previous times the Police Department was accused of scattering the homeless from their camps prior to homeless surveys to reduce the number counted in the area. The most current survey of homeless in Sarasota and Manatee County came up with just under 1500 homeless people this past January. Below is a summary of the findings by an independent consultant. In other words our area has been shamed into responding to the homeless issue especially after we made national headlines for buying bus tickets to exit the area for the homeless.

Contact & Project Manager: Susan Pourciau
Email: pourciau@flhousing.org
CEO: Jaimie Ross
Email: ross@flhousing.org

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The full report can be found here: http://www.sarasotagov.org/PDF/CM/SarasotaCreatingAnEffectiveHomelessSystem.pdf

Summary of Recommendations
Recommendations for the Foundation of the Homeless Crisis Response System
0.1 The community should establish and support an influential Leadership Board affiliated or working in
partnership with the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness to guide the implementation and
support of an effective Homeless Crisis Response System aimed at effectively addressing
homelessness.
0.2 In collaboration with the Leadership Board, a Funders Council should be created to address resource
allocation, collaboration, and performance metrics.
0.3 The Leadership Board and Funders Council should create an effective communications and messaging
plan to build community support to build the Homeless Crisis Response System and specific initiatives
that grow out of the implementation of this plan.
0.4 The Leadership Board, in collaboration with the Funders Council and the Suncoast Partnership CoC,
should establish specific processes for tracking, investigating, and responding to specific outcomefocused
performance measures for the system as a whole, as well as for individual programs and
agencies.
0.5 Two specific adult subpopulations should be prioritized first: (1) homeless veterans, and (2) single
adults who are long-term homeless and have disabling conditions.
Recommendations for the Outreach & Coordinated Entry Component of the System
1.1.The Coordinated Entry System, fully compliant with HUD requirements, must be fully functional by
January 2018.
1.2.The creation, implementation, and management of the coordinated entry system (CES) should be the
responsibility of the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness (SPEH) as the Lead Agency for the
CoC.
1.3.Outreach efforts should be coordinated and integrated into the Coordinated Entry System so all
unsheltered persons engaged through outreach are assessed using the common assessment tool for
individuals.
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1.4.The VI-SPDAT must be used to prioritize individuals for housing options and services based on the
severity of their needs, and services/housing providers must accept those referrals for any available
openings.
Recommendations for the Prevention & Diversion Component of the System
2.1 The community should consider redirecting a portion of funding that is currently being used for
prevention to create an effective diversion process for individuals.
2.2 A structured diversion process should be integrated in to the new Coordinated Entry System.
Recommendations for the Emergency Shelter Component of the System
3.1 The community should work with the Salvation Army Sarasota Center to set aside approximately 50
of the existing beds to be operated as low-barrier low-demand crisis, without expanding the facility.
3.2 The Salvation Army facility and all shelters must be integrated seamlessly with the Coordinated Entry
System and other components of the Homeless Crisis Response System.
3.3 Using the Coordinated Entry System and other data sources, unmet needs should be tracked to
determine how best to respond to crisis needs in areas outside of north-county.
Recommendations for the Rapid ReHousing Component of the System
4.1 At least 80 non-veteran single adult Rapid ReHousing openings should be created within the first year
of implementation of this plan.
4.2 The Continuum of Care must embrace best practices, and establish performance benchmarks and
common requirements for Rapid ReHousing.
4.3 Rapid ReHousing must be integrated seamlessly with the Coordinated Entry System and other
components of the Homeless Crisis Response System.
Recommendations for the Permanent Supportive Housing Component of the System
5.1 At least 20 scattered site non-veteran single adult Permanent Supportive Housing openings should be
created within the first year of implementation of this plan.
5.2 Development(s) to create at least 40 project-based Permanent Supportive Housing units must be
initiated immediately through identification of property, application for financing and related funding,
and predevelopment activities.
5.3 The Continuum of Care must embrace best practices, and establish performance benchmarks and
common requirements for Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), utilizing only high quality provider
organizations that excel in low-barrier low-demand PSH with high housing retention rates.
5.4 Permanent Supportive Housing must be integrated seamlessly with the Coordinated Entry System and
other components of the Homeless Crisis Response System.
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Appendix II: Sources of Information
Meetings/interviews with individuals and organization