New study shows homeless rate down in Jacksonville

Study also finds significant drop in number of homeless veterans

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

File photo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A new study released by the mayor's office shows there are fewer homeless people on Jacksonville's streets than a year ago.

The homeless rate dropped by 9%, according to the mayor's office.

Data coming from the group Changing Homelessness found that in 2018, there were 1,640 people considered homeless in Jacksonville.. This year, there were 1,494 homeless people -- 146 fewer people than last year.   

Mayor Lenny Curry told News4Jax on Friday that the numbers are encouraging.  

“We’ve got work to do. But again, this is progress,” Curry said. 

During the interview, he looked out his office window to Hemming Park across the street and said 2 ½ years ago, a major homeless issue could be seen. 

“If you look out that window right now, you see a significant reduction in homelessness in that park," he said. "We certainly have other pockets we have to work on.”

One of those areas is not far from City Hall. Many homeless have moved over a block to a park on Main Street across from the library. That small park is currently closed for cleanup and will be for several months. But News4Jax found many people still using the park and the mayor admits it has been an issue.

The study released Monday also shows a significant drop in homeless veterans during the last 10 years. In 2009, veterans made up 26% of the homeless count in Jacksonville. Now, that number is 7%. 

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