Understanding Homelessness

Total Homeless Population in Broward

*2021 Point in time Count

Broward County Demographics

93% Individuals / 7% Families
Age Ranges
11% under 18, 7% 18-24 and 82.4% 25 & Over
69% Males, 31% Females and less than 1% transgender

Causes of Homelessness

  • Lack of Affordable Housing
  • Unemployment or Underemployment
  • Health Crisis
  • Domestic Violence
  • Addiction Disorder
  • Mental Illness

Homelessness 101


The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) definition defines the term “homeless” as “a person sleeping in a place not meant for human habitation (e.g. living on the streets, for example) or living in a homeless emergency shelter.”

Contributing Factors

While circumstances vary, the main reason people experience homelessness is because they cannot find housing they can afford. A lack of affordable housing throughout the United States, and particularly in Broward County, contributes to the inability to acquire or maintain housing. A variety of additional factors can contribute to a homelessness, such as poverty, a decline in levels of public assistance, lack of affordable health care, mental illness, and addictive disorders.

Housing First

An evidence-based approach that quickly connects individuals and families experiencing homelessness to permanent housing without preconditions and barriers to entry, such as sobriety, treatment or service participation requirements.

Low Barrier Shelter

A philosophy that emergency shelter and crisis services should be immediately accessible to persons experiencing homelessness, without barriers to entry, such as requirements for sobriety, participation in programs, or having income / paying for shelter services. The Low Barrier Model incorporates expectations, policies, procedures, and practices that promote access to safe shelter as a crisis response to a person’s homelessness. The approach seeks to engage clients in productive behaviors and activities that foster a rapid movement to permanent housing.  

Trauma Informed Care

Is an overarching structure and treatment attitude that emphasizes understanding, compassion, and responding to the effects of all types of trauma. Trauma Informed Care also considers physical, psychological, and emotional safety for both clients and providers, and provides tools to empower clients on the pathway to stability.


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