Flagler county officials have identified 259 homeless students this year of 2011, compared to more than 160 last school year. There were 71 homeless students identified in the district during the 2007-2008 term.
Homeless students can include those living with their parents in hotels, campgrounds, shelters, or group homes. Many of them don’t get enough to eat and go to bed hungry at night.
In an area with wealth and abundant agricultural resources, no child living in our community need be hungry. Together we can end childhood hunger.
Our Current State of Poverty:
• 2009 Federal Poverty Guideline for a family of four - $22,050 (Community Agenda Snapshot Report for Volusia and Flagler Counties).
• Florida had the largest increase in poverty in the U.S. between 2007 and 2009; Overall poverty in Florida went from 12.1% to 14.9% and poverty in children went from 17.1% to 21.3% (www.epi.org).
• As of 2008, approximately 5,500 individuals (4.9% of the labor force) are underemployed in Flagler County with a median hourly wage of $8.92(Community Agenda Snapshot Report for Volusia and Flagler Counties).
• Currently, there are approximately 249 homeless children (Based on definition under The Federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act) in Flagler County (Data collected by Dr. Pamela Jackson-Smith, Homeless Education Coordinator/Parent Specialist, and Flagler County Schools).
• Flagler County families receiving Food Stamp benefits increased 31.7% (4,360 families to 5,743 families) from 09/09 to 09/10 (Data collected by ACCESS Community Partnership Liaison).
• More professionals (former teachers, former hospital employees and construction workers) are currently seeking benefits (Daytona Beach News-Journal August 27, 2008).
Most people who are at high risk of homelessness do not seek prevention assistance. They may have trouble navigating social service networks or not realize the danger they are in. HHNM will conduct outreach to approximately 10 homeless persons each month and strategies include the following:
• Direct outreach in high-need neighborhoods • Public agencies that serve people in poverty or at risk of homelessness • Housing agencies • Property managers/landlords • Partner and collaborate with Faith and community-based organizations