Homeless surveyed, counted through Central Florida

Data collected in Orange, Seminole, Osceola to be analyzed by UCF

Volunteers with the nonprofit, "Homeless Services Network," surveyed the homeless in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties on Wednesday.

"Our job is to discern what the face of homelessness is in the central Florida region, and then look at the gaps in service that we have," said Cathy Jackson, Executive Director of the Homeless Services Network.

Last year, the group counted 4,360 people in Central Florida, not including the families living in motels.

Jackson expects that number to increase this year.

"A lot of folks who have lost their jobs, who have had their job hours cut back, who have no insurance, who have a medical crisis, literally, don't have the income to support themselves in an apartment," she said.

There's also been an increase in the number of chronically ill people living on the street, but Jackson says the number of homeless veterans is decreasing.

"The veterans program nationally, and how its played out here locally, is a model of how we have to deal with all types of homelessness," she said.

The data collected on Wednesday will be analyzed by a team at the University of Central Florida, and a report will be ready by the end of March.

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