John Johnson

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 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 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.