Developing the Ten Year Plan to Prevent & End Homelessness in Sarasota County, Florida
Community Planning & Participation Workshop Evaluation Survey Results September 2011
COMMUNITY PLANNING WORKSHOPS Prompted by Sarasota County Government, Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness initiated the process of developing a community plan to prevent and end homelessness.
Community Members & Growing
2/05/11 3/11/11 3/25/11 4/08/11 5/13/11 6/10/11 6/17/11
7 Community Planning Workshops were conducted from February through June, 2011: (5) in Sarasota, (1) in Venice, and (1) in North Port. 145 People attended each workshop on average.
54% 67% 19% 59% 61% 59% 24%
Health & Human Services 22% Housing
Safety & Outreach
5 Workgroups, in addition to a General Discussion Forum, were established to focus on the following areas: Economic Stability- income, jobs, financial literacy, and sustainable independence. Health & Human Services- access to mainstream benefits and services, case management, health and welfare. Housing- emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, and affordable housing. Prevention- intervention to identify and stabilize imminent risk to homeless families, children and youth. Safety & Outreach- ensuring the safety of the community and those experiencing homelessness, improving outreach, and creating public awareness. Each Workgroup submitted a final report with recommendations to identify and address unmet needs, fill service gaps, and implement strategies to prevent and end homelessness in Sarasota County, Florida.
End Homelessness in Sarasota County 
SUMMARY METHODOLOGY In July 2011, Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness conducted an evaluation survey of the Community Planning Workshops. This report summarizes the findings. To date, more than 600 community members have come together to develop Sarasota Countyâ€™s plan to end homelessness. At least 10% of all community participants indicated they were experiencing homelessness. The number of participants that had previously experienced homelessness is unknown. Of the 419 surveys distributed, a total of 60 responses were captured, yielding a 14% response rate. On average, each respondent indicated he or she attended 4 of the 7 workshops conducted. The workshop on March 11 in downtown Sarasota had the highest attendance rate (61%) by respondents. Almost all (98%) of the respondents participated in a workgroup during the community planning workshops. Among the 60 individuals completing the survey, the Housing Workgroup was the most represented (24%), followed by Health & Human Services Workgroup (22%). The Safety & Outreach Workgroup was the least represented (11%) in the survey. 24% of respondents indicated they participated in subcommittee meetings during the community planning process, while 16% reported that their workgroups did not have sub-committees.
Contact information was gathered for participants through registration forms at community workshops and through online registrations.
A total of 419 email addresses are on record, yielding a population sample of 70% of all community participants in the planning process.
Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness distributed the online participant evaluation survey electronically to 419 unique email addresses throughout July 2011.
The Evaluation Survey consisted of 18 questions:
PARTICIPATION 12 Multiple Choice Questions PUBLIC OPINION6 Open Response Questions
60 Respondents (14%) completed the survey.
RESULTS Group tours of 4 different campuses were conducted during the community planning phase.
Bill Galvano One Stop Center, Bradenton Resurrection House, Sarasota Homeless Emergency Project & Pinellas Hope, Clearwater The Salvation Army, Sarasota Area Command
• One Stop Center
• Resurrection House
• HEP & Pinellas Hope
Although 69% of respondents did not attend a campus tour, all of the respondents participating toured at least two different campuses.
• The Salvation Army
100% report improved awareness of the issues relating to homelessness ISSUE AWARENESS LEVEL
Little or None
All respondents reported that their attendance and/or participation in the community planning process resulted in a greater awareness of homelessness and the issues affecting individuals, service providers, and the community. In addition, 100% intend to remain involved with the Plan.
34% Very effective
29% Very effective
19% Very effective
28% Very effective
17% Very effective
19% Very effective
PUBLIC OPINION SELECT QUOTES: TOPICS OR ISSUES WELL REPRESENTED
"The need for more affordable housing and an increased awareness of the [United Way] 211 [first call for help] system."
"I was very impressed by the openness and candor that the homeless participants presented their problems and challenges with."
"The amount of homeless in the community. The number of homeless students. Steps that are already in place to make a difference in their lives."
"The need for a one-stop center... especially in south county."
"Sharing of information [between] agency representatives."
SELECT QUOTES: TOPICS OR ISSUES UNDER-REPRESENTED
"Real 'community outreach' issues that pertain to increasing public awareness, presenting Sarasota with the real side of homelessness."
"Creative ways to address the problem. Creative funding. Collaborative efforts with existing providers..."
"Social enterprises employing those who are homeless, and leading to economic selfsufficiency as well as housing."
"How to provide the different types of shelters needed in our community, when no one wants 'those people' in their back yard."
Transportation, Outreach, Business Incubators & Start-ups, Counseling & Advocacy
PUBLIC OPINION QUOTES: MOST INFORMATIVE OR HELPFUL
"Meeting with the homeless was most informative. Being part of such a community initiative was so life affirming and positive."
"The whole format was excellent. The timing was great and the discussions stimulated great synergy."
"Hearing comments from people who visited sites in other communities..."
"Presentation of "211" resource. Presentation by group that represents churches in Manatee [that] organized to address homelessness."
"...Information about the local situation, demographics and programs was very helpful. My visit to Salvation Army was revealing..."
PUBLIC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT “Follow up to what had occurred at the previous meeting could be improved… Continuity was lacking.” “Better between-meetings communication, which means a little more feedback from sub-groups to keep everyone informed of progress.” “Hold meetings at different times to accommodate those who had to work during the day.” “There was no room for "out-of-the-box" thinking. The focus was often micro rather than long term macro solutions.” “Try to engage the inner-city [populations], county commissioners, merchants, etc. in the downtown area to become more involved. The arts, ballet, theater, entertainment, tourism groups are all affected by homeless so they need to be part of the solution... these groups need to be encouraged to be involved.”
Public Opinion: Other Ideas & Suggestions for the Plan
It's so important to keep the enthusiasm that was demonstrated alive and well - not too much time should elapse to capitalize on the energy displayed at each of the meetings. Continue to meet on a regular basis to monitor the plan.
Build a one stop center in south county complete with showers, laundry services, and a meal or meals.
Develop a high-level task force to talk to and work with businesses… The Mayor and council members should be included in that task force.
Be very thorough in selling the plan to all stakeholders and institutions. Be creative in tapping the community support evidenced in the meetings.
Create PSA's to educate the community on the reason for the need and the savings that this plan will bring to the community.
[People] in Sarasota need to see this as an issue affecting them. Only with more public pressure will politicians at the city and county level have the courage to provide funding and support for more low-cost housing.
We have to address the needs of the very diverse homeless population… We need supervised living for those with mental health and substance abuse problems, transitional housing for those who can and will be able to return to the workforce- if and when the jobs are there, and permanent housing for the elderly and disabled. We need to emphasize case management and job development, and address underlying health issues.
Acknowledgements Sarasota County’s community planning initiative to prevent and end homelessness is led by: Adam Tebrugge
Suncoast Partnership To End Homelessness Board Chair
Suncoast Partnership To End Homelessness Vice Chair
Suncoast Partnership To End Homelessness Executive Director
The leadership team wishes to thank those who contributed time, knowledge, and assistance in preparing for and conducting the community planning workshops. We are encouraged by your dedication and support to develop a plan to prevent and end homelessness in Sarasota County. We appreciate support from Sarasota County Government; the Cities of Sarasota, North Port, and Venice; and the towns of Englewood, Laurel, Nokomis, & Osprey. We’d like to acknowledge the consultants from Ann McArdle, LLC & Avoir Faire Consulting Agency, LLC for facilitating and administering the community planning events. Special thanks to the facilitators, note takers, presenters, and event hosts:
Ali Kleber Andrea Ginsky Bill Galvano One Stop Center Capt. Paul Sutton Carol Butera Carolyn Barker-Collins Charlotte County Homeless Coalition Church of the Redeemer Diane Ramseyer Drew Cummer Grace Fisher Homeless Emergency Project John McGruder Judy Wilcox
Julia Staley-Cooper Kathleen Hall Lana Bruce Larry Rossini Lexie Taylor, Manatee Religious Services Liz Nolan Margie Genter Mark Perlman Mary Ann Servian Nancy DeLoach Nokomis Township Osprey Township Pauline Tracy Phil Gorelick
Pinellas Hope Resurrection House Sandra Terry, Laurel Township Tom Pfaff, Sarasota Ministerial Association Sarasota City Police Department Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Sharry Morrison Sheila Lopez, Pinellas Hope The Salvation Army- Sarasota Area Command The United Way of Sarasota County Venice Police Department
We’d also like to thank our fellow citizens who are experiencing or previously experienced homelessness. We are inspired by your commitment to raise awareness, create understanding, and improve the lives of everyone in our community. For more information or to request a copy of the community planning evaluation survey and results, contact
Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness th 1750 17 Street, K-1 Sarasota, FL 34236 (941) 955-8987 firstname.lastname@example.org www.suncoastpartnership.org
Prepared by Avoir Faire Consulting Agency, LLC for Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness, Inc. © 2011 All rights reserved.