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Housing data reflects the Housing Market Characteristics, Affordable Housing Needs, and Housing Stock Characteristics. Currently, these data are not on the Atlas, but can be viewed at the Florida Housing Data Clearinghouse Clicking on this link will result in leaving the Community Atlas website. developed and maintained by the Shimberg Center for Affordable Housing at the University of Florida. The data provided is at either the county or municipality level.

Foreclosure Rates

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Regional and Local Profiles

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Data Access Tools

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Homeless people are men, women, and children, families and individuals, young and old, full-time workers and unemployed, with and without addiction and/or mental illness. Homelessness crosses all lines — racial, religious, class, ethnic and culture — and affects everyone. They are our neighbors.

Homelessness is an issue of growing concern throughout Hillsborough County, Florida and the United States.

A 2014 Florida Council on Homelessness report states that over 41,000 men, women and children are homeless in the state on any given night. The number of homeless people may be higher, but 16 counties do not have the resources to participate in the count. Hillsborough County's homeless population numbers approximately 2,243 people, according to the 2014 homeless count.

According to the 2014 Homeless Count results, we know the following about who is homeless in Hillsborough County:

  • 31% are women
  • 9% are under the age of 18
  • 11% have served in the U.S. Military
  • 12% are Hispanic
  • 46% report having a disability (physical, mental health, developmental, HIV/AIDS)
  • 26% report having a mental illness
  • 5% are experiencing homelessness for the first time

The purpose of this section of the Community Atlas is to raise public awareness while providing information to service providers and others on opportunities to help. The primary agency coordinating assistance is the Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative (THHI). The organization was created during a restructuring of the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County in November of 2014.

Homeless Count Process in Hillsborough County

The homeless count is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to be conducted at least every two years and during the last week of January. The count must be conducted over a single 24-hour period.

THHI coordinates the Homeless Count in Hillsborough County in partnership with CoC members, law enforcement, social service providers, city and county staff, the VA, and community members. The first count was completed in 1997. Beginning in 2013, the Homeless Count has been done annually. Prior to 2013, the Homeless Count was conducted every two years. While required by HUD to be completed during the last 10 days of January, THHI has and will continue to request a waiver to conduct our community’s count the last Thursday in February to avoid conflict with Tampa's annual Gasparilla celebration. More information »

It is important to note, that due to the nature of the counting process and realities of homelessness, the count is "skewed" to single men and women. Homeless families tend to find alternative, though not permanent, adequate or safe, locations to sleep (i.e. cars, family and friends, low cost motels) and do not meet the definition of homeless person HUD requires the Coalition to use in counting homeless people in the community.

Comparison of the 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2014 Homeless Counts
2005 2007 2009 2011 2014
Total Number of Homeless Persons Counted during Biennual Homeless Count 11,023 9,532 9,566 17,755 1 2,243 2
74% 63% 61% 65% 69%
26% 37% 39% 35% 31%
Age 3
< 18
11% 16% 23% 23% 9%
19 - 59
83% 78% 70% 74% 83%
6% 6% 7% 3% 5%
Refused to Answer
Primary Race
American Indian / Native American
3% 1.50% 1.50% 0.7% 2%
0% 0.50% 1% 0.2% 0%
Black / African American
34% 32% 36% 55% 35%
55% 47% 57% 44% 53%
2% 7% 4.50% 0.1% 9%
Hispanic / Latino
n/a 12% 14% 14% 12%
Military Service
19% 18% 17% 5% 4 11%
81% 82% 83% 95% 77%
Refused to Answer / Don't Know
Where Person Became Homeless
n/a 91% 88% 90% n/a
Outside Florida
n/a 9% 12% 10% n/a
Number of Homeless Episodes in Past 3 Years
1 time
30% 43% 41% 51% 38%
2-3 times
28% 32% 31% 32.50% 18%
4 or more times
31% 25% 29% 16.50% 17%
Person has Source of Income
67% 56% 40% 65% n/a
33% 44% 60% 35% n/a
Source of Income (for those with income)
11% 19% 32% 19% n/a
33% 37% 25% 17% n/a
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
2% 4% 9% 11% n/a
n/a n/a n/a 8% n/a
Panhandling 5
n/a n/a n/a 7% n/a
SSA Retirement
3% 3% 1.50% 2% n/a
Child Support
1% 4% 3% 3% n/a
Job Pension
n/a 4% 1% 0.3% n/a
Veterans Disability
3% 4% 3% 0.2% n/a
General Assistance
n/a 3% 3% n/a n/a
6% 15% 22.5% 33.0% n/a
Disabling Condition
n/a 37% 37% 35% 46%
n/a 63% 63% 35% 26%
Don't know / Refused to Answer
If Yes, What Conditions?
21% 28% 38% 46% 24%
1% 2% 3% 2.5% 3%
Mental Health
23% 18% 37% 36% 26%
Substance Abuse / Addictions
25% 23% 19% 13% 22%
1% 1% 3% 2.5% 3%
Percent of Homeless Population by County Commission Districts
District 1
n/a 18% 24% n/a n/a
District 2
n/a 6% 8% n/a n/a
District 3
n/a 72% 64% n/a n/a
District 4
n/a 4% 4% n/a n/a
  • All percentages are rounded, when statistically allowable, to the nearest whole number.
  • Because it is impossible to count every homeless person in a 24-hour period, the homeless count is always an undercount and serves as an estimation of a community's homeless population.
  • 1 During the 2011 Count, the Florida State definition, in F.S. 420.621, was used and included persons who lack a regular fixed nighttime residence including those who live on the street, in shetlers, other places not meant for human habitation as well as persons living doubled up with family/friends, in motels and campgrounds due to loss of housing or economic hardship and lack adequate alternative accomodations. Counts prior to 2011 only allowed persons living on the streets, shelters and places not meant for human habitiation to be counted.
  • 2 The 2013 Count recorded 2,275 homeless in Hillsborough County. The 2013 and 2014 Counts show a precipitous drop from 2011 for two reasons. First, a more narrow definition of homeless was used than in 2011, including only those who meet the HUD definition of homeless person. This definition does not include persons living temporarily with family or friends due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason. Second, federal and community programs have helped many formerly homeless. For example, the federal agency for Housing and Urban Development has changed its focus from providing services to providing housing, and has made more funds available to create new housing or subsidize existing housing. Other federally-funded programs have stepped up efforts to find permanent housing for homeless veterans and their families.
  • 3 Does not include children under age 18.
  • 4 We believe the percentage of veterans is not an accurate percentage based on the following: several reporting agencies did not provide veteran status on the data they provided; this question also had an unusally low answer rate compared to previous years. The 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress has documented this trend as well, stating, &ldquo;there is anecdotal evidence that homeless veterans sometimes do not report their veteran status to homeless program staff.&rdquo;
  • 5 Only persons living on the street reported panhandling as an income; therefore, the 7% above is 7% of 7,336 or 513 people
  • During the 2009 and 2011 counts, longtime count volunteers noted an increase of people who refused to particpate in the count and/or did not answer all the questions.
  • The Hillsborough County Homeless Count is conducted by the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County every two years during the last week of January. In 2009 an exception was given by HUD and the count was conducted February 26, 2009.
  • The 2007 count day was cold and rainy and affected the ability to locate homeless people.

For more information about the homelessness in Hillsborough County and the homeless count, please contact:
Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative
phone: (813) 223-6115    website: http://THHI.org/    email: info@THHI.org

What is Being Done to Help

The Tampa/Hillsborough County Continuum of Care (CoC) is a broad-based partnership, led by THHI as the lead agency. Through interagency coordination and collaboration, the CoC provides homeless people with effective services and helps them obtain affordable housing. For more information about the CoC's responsibilities and duties, visit http://www.thhi.org/continuum-of-care/

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