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Unexpected Faces Unexpected Places

Did you know that 17,755 men, women, and children are homeless in Hillsborough County on any given night? This break down to 7,336 is living on the street and 10,419 are living doubled up with family/friend. Hillsborough County has approximately 1500 shelter beds available a night, that means 5836 people including children are sleeping on the street, under bridges in parks where they can find a place to sleep.

Do you know what the main cause of homelessness? I bet the first thing that pops into your head when I ask that question is drugs/alcohol, employment, family problems. You would be correct all of those circumstances of homelessness but the mail cause is INABLITY TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD HOUSING. Housing is considered affordable when a household has spends no more than 30% of their income on housing cost.(rent, and utilities/mortgage, taxes, insurance and utilities). The shortage of affordable housing especially for people with limited incomes and low income is the leading cause of homelessness.

2010 Fair Market Rents (FMR) in Hillsborough Count as determined by HUD are:
1 bedroom $793; 2 bedrooms--$959 3 bedroom $1215; 4 bedroom--$1467
The 2010 Area Median Income (AMI) for Hillsborough County is $59,400. HUD uses AMI to classify low income house holds as follows: extremely-low income is 30% of AMI $17,820 very low income is 50% $29,700 of AMI; low income is 80% 47,520 of AMI income levels.

So according to AMI and FMR a family would have to make $18.44 an hour to be to have affordable housing. That is based on a 2 bedroom being $959 plus utilities. In today economy how many people make that kind of money. Unemployment is at an all time high, more people are losing there homes these days and they are not the person you expect statics say that most people know someone homeless, or going to become homeless. If you would like more information on the statics on homelessness or on how you can help, please contact me below.

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About the Author

JoAnne Pirkle, Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County
2105 N. Nebraska Ave
Tampa, FL 33602

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