2/12/03 - The City of Key West
has provided funds to the Southernmost Homeless Assistance League (SHAL)
to create a Pilot Outreach Program, which will have workers serving as
liaisons to the homeless community.
"The Outreach Program will be a
valuable tool for the homeless population and the City of Key West as we
seek solutions to some of the problems surrounding homelessness,"
said City Manager Julio Avael.
Florida Keys Outreach Coalition (FKOC) will
be responsible for the administration of the six-month Pilot Outreach
Program, staffing the program with those who know what it means to
homeless in Key West - former members of the homeless community who have
worked with FKOC to turn their lives around.
The liaisons will be well versed in the
available services in the area and will be able to direct members of the
homeless population to helpful services in the community. Outreach workers
will canvas the city and make routine visits to locations where homeless
are known to gather.
Outreach workers will provide referrals to
homeless in need of health and social services, advise on relevant City
ordinances regarding solicitation and trespass, and maintain a bed
availability list from provider agencies.
The liaisons will also calculate on a
regular basis the number of homeless in Key West and survey the homeless
regarding services they need and what they would actually utilize. A
monthly report will be provided to the City.
"I am very pleased the Florida Keys
Outreach Coalition has the confidence of City Officials and the SHAL Board
of Directors, to take the lead role in working with law enforcement in not
only providing outreach, referrals and alternatives to arrest, but also in
gathering hard data to determine exactly what gaps need yet to be
addressed." said Rev. Stephen Braddock, Executive Director of FKOC.
The Outreach Program will be monitored and
evaluated by an oversight committee chaired by Paul E. Clayton,
coordinator of the City Summit on Homelessness, with members of SHAL and
City staff serving as committee members.
Rev. Braddock also noted that, "SHAL
Chairman, Nelson Read, worked diligently with the City to secure the funds
necessary for this project, funds that not only will accomplish these
objectives, but that will also be used as local match to secure other
Federal and State Funds at a ratio of 4-1. In other words, for every local
dollar, we can typically secure four more dollars from government funding
The Pilot Outreach Program was introduced
at the City Summit on Homelessness Wednesday, February 12 to an audience
of over 200 concerned citizens gathered to discuss the problem of
homelessness in Key West.
Rev. Stephen E. Braddock, Executive
Kelly L. Haglund, Public Information Officer
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