Escarosa Coalition On The Homeless

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless is no more. The agency has gotten a makeover, with a new name and a slightly new mission.

It’s now called Opening Doors Northwest Florida.

“The new name embodies being more open, not only for those that are homeless, making access to our organization more readily accessible,” said John Johnson, executive director. It also represents a focus on doing a better job serving the agency’s entire coverage area in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless recently conducted its 2018 Point-in-Time survey. The effort, required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), was conducted on January 24.

Staff and volunteers visited local shelters, encampments, and street corners in an effort to determine the number of sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals in the area and identify service needs.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The 2018 Point-in-Time (PIT) survey of homeless people living in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties was conducted Wednesday, January 24.

Data from the count is important. Beyond that data, local officials have commissioned the University of West Florida to conduct a study on the cost of homelessness, which they plan to use to help determine their next steps in addressing the problem.

The last PIT survey in 2017 showed 758 homeless people living in the two-county area. Of those, 539 were men, 117 were veterans, and 135 were chronically homeless.

Escarosa Coalition on the Homeless

The 2018 Point-in-Time count of homeless persons soon will take place in communities across the country.

Conducted on a cold night in January, the annual survey is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD.

Sandra Averhart

The EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless (ECOH) conducted its annual Point In Time (PIT) count of homeless people in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties last week. Again this year, the count was capped off with their U-Count Homeless Resource Day, which serves as an expo for agencies offering services to the homeless.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

The EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless, which serves Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, is conducting its annual “Point in Time” count of the homeless.

On a bright sunny Wednesday morning the courtyard at the Alfred Washburn Center, complete with picnic tables and a serving area for food and drink, is abuzz with activity. Volunteers are mingling with Washburn clients, taking surveys. Also with a clipboard is the Coalition’s Executive Director, John Johnson.

Courtesy of EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless.

The EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless is gearing up for their annual "point in time" survey to take place on January 25 in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

ECOH Marketing Director Serene Keiek and Housing Director Dianna Moore recently stopped by WUWF to talk with Sandra Averhart about the purpose and importance of the homeless count. Also, they’re seeking volunteers to help conduct the survey and to assist with their U-Count Homeless Resource Day event to follow.

Below is a transcript of their conversation.

Calls are going out from the EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless, for volunteers to take part in the annual count of the homeless on January 27-28.

“Point in Time” allows agencies that provide services to the homeless to get a handle on the overall population in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, and how to tailor those services to help move them out of homelessness.

“We actually dispersed teams out on the street and in areas where the homeless normally gather: Alfred Washburn Center, Salvation Army, places like that,” said Alison Griffith, the program’s coordinator.

How to increase the availability of affordable housing in the Pensacola area was the topic of a conference Tuesday, involving a number of local organizations.

UWF economist Rick Harper led off the Affordable Housing Summit at Gulf Power Company. During his hour-long presentation, he said the definition of “affordable housing” depends on the percentage of a family’s income that’s used to keep a roof over their heads.

Sandra Averhart

The Escarosa Coalition on the Homeless (ECOH) is still working to complete its 2015 Point-In-Time Homeless Survey. The annual event is aimed at determining how many homeless people live in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. It’s also about determining and addressing those individual’s most pressing needs.

For the two-county region, the count and survey of unsheltered homeless was conducted over a 24-hour period beginning Wednesday, Jan. 28.

Nathan Monk

The 2015 Point-In-Time Homeless Survey is underway around the country. The count is conducted over a 24 hour period to count sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons and to determine their most pressing needs.  Locally, the 2015 survey in Okaloosa and Walton Counties was conducted on January 22. The Escarosa Coalition on the Homeless will begin its annual count on this Wednesday.   

This year, the Point In Time Survey is starting a little earlier than usual, with plans for volunteers to fan out at sunrise.

Escarosa Coalition on the Homeless

The annual Point-In-Time Homeless Survey is getting underway around the country. The survey, required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD, is conducted over a 24 hour period to count sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons. Data collected helps to determine their most pressing needs.