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Miami-Dade, Monroe Homeless Numbers Are Surprising

Emily Michot
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Credit Emily Michot / Miami Herald
The Florida Channel

Some surprising results have come out of the most recent homeless counts in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, results of which were released Thursday.

Across the two southernmost counties, a significant number of homeless have moved from shelters to living on the street.

In Dade, the total number of homeless people remained about the same as 2014– 4,152, down from 4,156 in 2014 — but the number of people living on the street as opposed to in shelters has increased by about 200 people.

This comes a year after an uptick of about 350 in the number of homeless living in the county overall.

Monroe County saw the same pattern: more homeless on the street and fewer in shelters. In 2015, 284 homeless people were found living in shelters, down about 100 from 2014, but a slight uptick in those homeless living in the streets – 303 this year compared to 295 last year.

Credit Numbers from the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust
The Florida Channel

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires the annual homeless count, called the Point in Time census, to take place on the last 10 days of January at least every other year.

Hundreds of volunteers throughout South Florida went out and physically counted each homeless person they encountered over the course of the count – some dragging into the wee hours of the night.

During this year's count Miami-Dade also tried to get a handle on the number of homeless children living in the county. Those results are still being analyzed.

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Wilson Sayre was born and bred in Raleigh, N.C., home of the only real barbecue in the country (we're talking East here). She graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where she studied Philosophy.