A Definition: The Person Experiencing Homelessness.

Different federal programs utilize varied definitions of homelessness.

A homeless individual is a person who lacks stable housing, and whose primary residence during the night is a supervised public or private facility that provides temporary living accommodations or who is a resident in transitional housing, or who is living in a place not meant for human habitation.

There are generally three categories of homelessness: 

Temporary (or Transitional) Homelessness: Individuals that experience homelessness for a brief period. This category generally encompasses individuals who have become homeless due to a crisis, such as job loss, medical issue, or a domestic violence situation. 

Episodic Homelessness: Individuals that experience periods in and out of homelessness, usually short in duration, but with frequent episodes. Most individuals have been homeless for less than one year and have experienced fewer than four episodes in the past three years. 

Chronic Homelessness: Individuals that are continuously homeless for a year or longer without any periods of housing or have had four episodes of homelessness in the past three years. HUD definitions of chronic homelessness include a homeless individual with a disability. 

The Homeless Reduction Task Force seeks to identify barriers for the person experiencing homelessness and improve access to housing, employment, substance abuse and mental health treatment, health care, transportation, legal services and public assistance through a unique relationship with our faith-based organizations. Those who are experiencing homelessness can only move away from a disjointed lifestyle with the help of trusted mentors who will be as engaged as if he or she were our own family. Mentors will be oriented in how to maneuver the current system of care as the task force streamlines and enhances the current patchwork of homeless services. We have hope for a healthy and blessed future in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties.