It comes as a bill moves through council in full Tuesday night that would create a homeless trust fund with $1 million. However, the money used would only go towards those at risk of homelessness.
Action News Jax’s Robert Grant asked Council Member and committee chair Joe Carlucci if the special committee plans to help those already on the streets.
“We might look at it. When I say broadening the scope, that goes into it. There’s so many facets to help homeless population. That’s something I would want to do,” he said.
The organization Changing Homelessness said it would cost about $5 million to help 200 people currently on the streets who are chronically homeless. CEO Dawn Gilman said that’s actually cheaper than the at least $6 million the city already spends on services for those individuals through the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and Jacksonville Fire & Rescue, for example, with calls for service.
“All of those things have a cost. There’s a cost to book somebody. There’s a cost for days in jail. A cost if somebody has an ambulance ride,” she explained. She told Action News Jax’s Robert Grant that the committee needs a focus in the next six months.
The first meeting is in November and will be done by April with a final report. It will also look into affordable housing with possible funding to help contractors get off the ground with lower interest rates.
“The main message is we do have a housing crisis here. Affordable housing and homelessness go hand in hand,” Carlucci said.
[SIGN UP: Action News Jax Daily Headlines Newsletter]